Sunday, September 11, 2016

Starling Avenue Stew with Swiss Chard and Jackfruit Seeds

Jackfruit has been plentiful on Starling Avenue this summer, and my girlfriend brought some home several times, as it was selling for 99 cents per pound, at Premium Halal Meat & Fish and other stores. The seeds are edible, and first we roasted some... that was not bad. But then I had a hunch, which led to this new dish, a Starling Avenue original. You could make it with seeds of the Jackfruit, or, if those are not available to you, you could make it with chestnuts. Key foods on Unionport sells organic chestnuts in a bag, or Chang-Li Supermarket on Benedict Avenue also sells chestnuts in bags, under the brand name of Homei.

This recipe meets all the criteria for Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn's no-oil vegan lifestyle.

Jackfruit Arils & Seeds (Wikipedia)

The jackfruit itself has become a favorite desert, and that is saying a lot, for I don't normally eat desert. In the process of taking the pods out of the fruit, you must take the seeds out, and when they dry the outershell which is whitish, dries up very quickly, and you can peel it off. The seeds themselves can very well be roasted, especially when they are fresh, but if you dry them you could try this stew. Notably some stores also offered the Jackfruit seeds for sale at $4.99/lb. Here goes for the recipe this is for 2 people. The overall flavor of this dish is "nutty," and the tastes harmonize well, but you can make variations.

Ingredients & Variations

  • Farro for a grain - you cook it like rice, but it has a very rich, nutty flavor. Around here you can find it at Good 'n Natural on White Plains Road, its from Bob's Red Mill. Alternatively you could use a brown Basmati rice.
  • Swiss chard. Chang-Li Supermarket regularly carries this vegetable. You could uses spinach instead, but again the Swiss Chard has that rich, nutty flavor, that sets it apart.
  • A chopped onion.


  • In a pan, cook the chopped onion in two cups of water for about 10-15 minutes, with the peeled jackfruit seeds. Turn down to a slow simmer.
  • Meanwhile you washed the chard and chopped up the stems into inch-long pieces.
  • First add the stems of the chard to the simmering pan, and let simmer for about 5 minutes.
  • Chop the leaves of the chard into about inch-wide strips, and add them to the pan - let it simmer until the leaves are wilted and soft to eat.
Serve the stew over the farro. The whole thing has a rich, earthy, nutty flavor, and it should not need anything else. Enjoy.