What’s Fresh: Rhubarb
Just as the last winter keeper apples give out, rhubarb lifts its glorious, rosy-hued head. Right now these tangy, juicy stalks are a true taste of spring.
While there’s nothing wrong with that old standby, why not think outside the crisp? Serve up a warm, custardy Strawberry Rhubarb Alsatian Tart with a dollop of cream, spoon Spiced Braised Rhubarb over thick Greek yogurt for breakfast, or nibble a slice of Rhubarb Tea Bread with your afternoon repast. Read on for a few of our very favorite rhubarb recipes.
Rhubarb Tea Bread
1 cup vegetable oil
2 cups brown sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
2½ cups diced rhubarb
½ cup chopped walnuts
3 cups flour
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cinnamon
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon nutmeg
½ teaspoon allspice
1 teaspoon salt
Beat eggs, oil, sugar and vanilla until thick and foamy. Stir in rhubarb and walnuts. In a separate bowl combine dry ingredients, then add to rhubarb mixture and stir gently just until blended. Bake in two 5 x 9 loaf pans at 350° for one hour.
(Recipe thanks to Margaret Thorson of Thousand Flower Farm)
Rhubarb & Strawberry Alsatian Tart
Filling (mix ahead and let rest):
1 pound rhubarb, cut into small squares
½ pounds strawberries, sliced
½ to ¾ cups sugar (to taste)
1/8 teaspoon ground clove
1 tablespoon orange flower water (optional)
½ cup crème fraiche or cream
1 tablespoon Grand Marnier or orange liquer
Alsatian Tart Dough:
½ cup unsalted butter
½ cup sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
3 eggs, room temp
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons grated orange zest
1 cup flour
In bowl, toss rhubarb, strawberries, sugar to taste, cloves, orange water and set aside. Beat the egg in a 2 cup measure and add the juices that have collected from the rhubarb with enough cream to make 1 cup.
Make the dough: cream the butter, sugar and salt until light and fluffy, add the eggs one at a time and beat until smooth after each addition. Add the vanilla & orange zest, then stir in the flour and salt. Using a spatula, smooth the batter into an 11 inch tart pan, pushing it up against the edges to make a slight rim.
Assemble and bake: Distribute the rhubarb/strawberry mix over the batter, keeping it within the rim. Pour the custard over the fruit and bake at 375° until set and lightly browned, 45 minutes. Remove from the oven and immediately spoon the liquer over the surface. Dust with powdered sugar and serve warm.
(Recipe thanks to Cynthia Burke of Cynthia’s, Of Course!)
1 ½ lb. rhubarb, trimmed and cut into 2″ pieces on an angle
1 cup fresh orange juice
¼ cup honey
½ tsp. kosher salt
8 green cardamom pods
2 star anise
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise, seeds scraped and reserved
1 ½” piece ginger, peeled and thickly sliced crosswise
Yogurt or vanilla ice cream, for serving
Heat oven to 400°. Mix together rhubarb, orange juice, honey, salt, cardamom, star anise, vanilla bean and seeds, and ginger in a 9″ x 13″ baking dish. Bake, stirring occasionally, until rhubarb is tender, 14–16 minutes. Let cool to room temperature. Serve over yogurt or ice cream, if you like.
(Recipe and photo from Saveur Magazine)