Chef Bob, featured in Wild Living with Sunny: episode 1, came over to help me weave the flavors of North and South America together. It’s almost the full moon, so I took advantage of all the sap running up the plants to harvest a not-yet-flowering Yucca whipplei stalk. We cut the stalk about a foot down from the top, where it went from flexible to not-so-flexible. Picked off the unopened flower buds and peeled the stalk like a big asparagus. Mixed with some red quinoa, bought from a fair-trade coop while I was in Cuzco, Peru, it made for a divine dish. You can see the small, bright green unopened buds, along with the chunks of peeled yucca stalk in the photo above. The spikes make for good toothpicks!
Here’s an example of a flowering yucca on the left, the emerging stalk with unopened flowers in the middle, and dead stalk on the right. I’m working on another videoblog with Chef Bob to create some powdered wild greens pasta with California sagebrush chicken sauce. So keep your eyes posted for that upcoming video.
Quinoa ‘n Yucca
1 T olive oil
1/4 c yucca stalk, peeled & diced
1/2 c yucca unopened flower buds
1/4 c chicken stock
1 T onion, finely diced
pinch salt & hot pepper powder
1/4 c quinoa
Saute onions until translucent. Add yucca stalk, unopened flower buds, stock and cover, slowly simmering for 10 minutes. Boil a small pot of water, then add quinoa to boiling water. Let cook about 11 minutes, strain in fine mesh strainer. Mix with yucca and enjoy! Serves 2.