seitan is my motor

Saturday

16

May 2015

8

COMMENTS

Ramps Cauliflower Chimichurri

cauliflower and ramps chimichurri | seitanismymotor.com

Shame on me, ramps season is almost over again, isn’t it? I’m still pretty sad about the fact that I am not living next to that small forest in Göttingen, a small university town in Lower Saxony, anymore. Every spring there was an amazing garlic smell which would lead you directly to a giant ramps carpet. We could pick several bunches and there would still be much more left than anybody could wish for. And I knew exactly when ramps season started and when it ended. These days are over and whenever I see ramps now, it’s in a store. Although you can still pick them if you know the right place, they have also turned into a fancy herb you can buy at organic foods stores for way too much money and in way too small packages. Fortunately I have a wonderful neighbour who’s growing ramps and other herbs in her garden. She just gifted me with a huge bunch of both ramps and chives. If you’re not familiar with ramps (ramsons, wild leek, wild garlic), they have a similarily sharp taste as chives, but mostly they do taste like young garlic. It’s very easy to turn ramps into pesti or sauces. They will make every dish very aromatic and special only by adding a ridiculous amount of flavour. I had several pictures of our fantastic ramps pesto pizza topped with only grilled asparagus. I had to make those pictures fast, hungry people were waiting for me and of course not a single picture had turned out. So I wanted to redo the pesto and take some more pictures. But then I changed my mind and made a chimichurri sauce instead. (I’ll post the pesto recipe at the end of this entry, too.)

Chimichurri is great for tofu, tempeh, or even seitan. But when I made the sauce it turned out I had been too quick with my meal planning. We had no tofu, no tempeh, no seitan. But a head of cauliflower! So here’s a recipe for a wonderful caulflower chimichurri that you can serve over some cooked grains or legumes. It’s also a great addition to a brunch table or a buffet. If you don’t have ramps on hand, you can make this with all kinds of herbs, especially fresh parsley, or use chives and scallions.

cauliflower and ramps chimichurri | seitanismymotor.com

 

Ramps Cauliflower Chimichurri

Ingredients

1 small head cauliflower (300 - 400 g)
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
50 g (2 oz) fresh ramps, roughly chopped
3 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 onion, minced
3 cloves garlic, optional
1/2 jalapeño or red chili pepper, chopped
1/2 teaspoon chipotle powder or smoked paprika
salt to taste

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Cut the cauliflower into florets about the size of a golf ball.
  3. Place on the baking sheet and drizzle or brush with oil.
  4. Bake for 15 minutes or until the cauliflower starts to brown. Toss from time to time.
  5. Meanwhile prepare the chimichurri sauce by combining all ingredients in a blender or food processor.
  6. Pulse until relatively smooth.
  7. Add salt to taste.
  8. Pour half of the sauce over the cauliflower and use a spoon to distribute the sauce well. Make sure to cover most of the vegetables in sauce.
  9. Bake for another 10-15 minutes.
  10. Remove from oven and serve. Pour more sauce over the cauliflower.
http://www.seitanismymotor.com/2015/05/ramps-cauliflower-chimichurri/

Pistachio Ramps Pesto

Ingredients
40 g (1/3 cup) roasted and salted pistachios
30 g (1 oz) ramps
30 g (1 oz) chives
3 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons oil
4 tablespoons nutritional yeast flakes
1 glove garlic
salt and pepper to taste

Instructions
1. Combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor.
2. Blend until relatively smooth, season with salt and pepper.

ramps-wild-garlic

Wednesday

6

May 2015

20

COMMENTS

Rhubarb Vanilla Meringue Tart

rhubarb vanilla meringue tart | seitanismymotor.com

I am so behind on blogging, it’s embarrassing. My draft folder is full. But there is something that keeps me from posting here. One and a half months ago I took up learning another language. Right now my head is spinning. I am trying to memorise personal pronouns, tense prefixes and suffixes, and weekdays. Before that I spent three weeks learning to trill the r. Which I was never able to do before, and believe me, I tried. But now, with the help of several Youtube videos (especially this and this one), I can do it most of the time if it’s surrounded by some nice vowels. I also learned to read and write. Yes, that is right. I am learning to read and write all over again. Because I left my European comfort zone by taking up an Arabic class.

I was always decent at learning languages – except for Latin, but that was because there’s no one to talk to unless you’re friends with the pope – and I guess that’s why I signed up for this new class without thinking twice. Well, it has been challenging. And slow. We learned to read, we’re practicing to write, and we’re doing tons of grammar. My small talk skills are still very lacking. But I guess I should be more patient.  I am getting a general concept of the language and that is very important and useful. It’s something you don’t feel you have at first when everything is written in letters you can’t read. When even the alphabet comes in a completely new order and with several letters you cannot pronounce. And when there’s not a single similarity to any other language you learned before. Because those languages were either related to Latin (Spanish) or Latin and German (English) or German (Norwegian).

All of this is very exiting but naturally it steals a lot of time. Time I would normally spent cooking and photographing for this blog. Instead of baking or reading other blogs,  I am now watching Arabic Youtube videos. Last Sunday, when I tried to practice for a dictation exercise, I was reminded that there was about a kilo of rhubarb in our kitchen. And  I had promised to make a cake. But what cake? My brain was toasted, I had no ideas for any kind of recipe. So I looked at my blog and decided to do a simplified version of a rhubarb pie I posted four years ago (wow!). At that time I felt bad for putting the recipe up. It was a delicious cake but it called for an uncommon ingredient: dandelion honey. Rhubarb is such a simple and humble vegetable, so why add something as fancy to the ingredient list of this pie? I probably was just super exited about my little jar of vegan honey. (To be honest, it’s not really fancy. You can make it at home, it’s made from sugar, water, and dandelion flowers.)Whatever, last Sunday I rewrote the recipe. The tart/pie is now made with the most accessible ingredients you can think of. It’s a simple recipe, with a very tender, sweet crust and  a tart filling that calls only for a hint of sugar. But there is a little twist to it. I made another batch of marshmallow fluff  for an easy and super sweet and sticky meringue topping. A perfect Sunday treat and some brain food that made learning those letters and prefixes a lot easier.

Notes: Refinded coconut oil is very common where I live. If you cannot get it and don’t mind the coconut flavour, use unrefined coconut oil instead. Margarine should work fine, too. To make the marshmallow fluff for this recipe, double the amount of sugar (100 g or 1 cup powdered sugar). You can also omit the fluff and use coconut whipped cream instead, or leave the tart naked.

rhubarb vanilla meringue tart | seitanismymotor.com

Rhubarb Vanilla Meringue Tart

Ingredients

For the rhubarb filling
750 g rhubarb, sliced into 1 cm (1/2 inch) pieces (6 cups or 1 lb and 10 oz)
50 g (1/4 cup) sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
For the crust
1/4 teaspoon salt
250 g flour (2 cups plus 1/2 tablespoon)
200 g (1/2 cup) sugar
110 g (1/2 cup) soft refined coconut oil, cubed
zest of one orange
For the custard
240 ml (1 cup) soy milk
30 g (1/4 cup) cornstarch
50 g (1/4 cup) sugar
For the soft meringue
1 recipe marshmallow fluff made with 100 g (1 cup) powdered sugar

Instructions

  1. To make the filling, combine rhubarb, sugar, and cornstarch.
  2. Let sit for about an hour and stir well from time to time.
  3. To make the crust, mix salt, flour, and sugar in a bowl.
  4. Add coconut oil and orange zest.
  5. Mix with your hands and form into a crumbly dough.
  6. Make sure the fat is incorporated well and there are no lumps of coconut oil remaining.
  7. Grease a springform pan (26-27 cm or 10 inch) with fat.
  8. Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F).
  9. Pour the dough into the pan.
  10. Press into the bottom and the sides of the pan. (Only line about 2.5 cm or 1 inch of the sides with dough. You just want a small border, so the filling doesn't leak.)Set aside.
  11. For the custard, combine soy milk, cornstarch, and sugar in a small saucepan.
  12. Whisk until the starch is dissolved and bring to a boil.
  13. Cook for 1-2 minutes, or until thickened.
  14. Pour over the crust.
  15. Sprinkle rhubarb on top.
  16. Bake for 40 minutes.
  17. While the tart is baking, prepare the marshmallow fluff.
  18. Transfer to a piping bag with a star tip right before the cake is done.
  19. Pipe dollops on top of the tart, increase the temperature to 200°C (400°F) and bake for another 10 minutes, until the meringue is browned.
  20. Let cool completely and remove from pan.
http://www.seitanismymotor.com/2015/05/rhubarb-vanilla-meringue-tart/

rhubarb vanilla meringue tart | seitanismymotor.com