June 1, 2015 § 3 Comments
Rhubarb time again and what haven’t I tried to make with it?
Rhubarb is one of the first things to pop out of the ground in the spring and then I’m on to making scones, muffins and all kinds of desserts and baked things. This year I wanted to do something savory with it again. I’ve made Rhubarb Chutney before, the recipe is here on my blog, and I’ve added it to a pan sauce to spoon over chicken. I’ve got so much rhubarb that it’s time to try something new again.
My rhubarb patch is turning into a monster. I might have to divide and move it this fall as it’s right in the middle of my garden. When I planted it originally the garden was very small and it sat at the edge, but now it’s really in the way. It stares at me every time I visit the garden and calls out “please use me!”
So I being one who likes homemade as much as possible decided to give Rhubarb BBQ sauce a try. The combination of the tart fruit (although it is technically a vegetable) mixed into the dark and smoky flavors of the sauce just might be delicious enough to eat with a spoon.
Besides eating it out of the jar, slather it on grilled chicken, ribs and vegetables too. Try grilling eggplant and basting with sauce. Use as a replacement for ketchup on a burger. Try it on sandwiches too, or mixed into baked beans.
So if you’ve got your own patch or even if you don’t, here’s the recipe.
6 stalks rhubarb, cleaned and trimmed and chopped
3/4 cup water
2 large shallots, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups ketchup ( organic and without HFCS* if possible)
1/4 cup maple syrup
2 TBL molasses
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
2 TBLS mustard
1 TBL Tabasco
1 tsp Liquid Smoke (this is good stuff)
First, simmer the chopped rhubarb in the water until soft, about 5 minutes. Set aside.
In a saucepan, heat a small amount of olive oil, add the shallots and garlic and sauté a few minutes.
Add the remaining ingredients and bring to a boil slowly. Reduce heat and continue simmering until sauce is thick and dark, about 10 to 15 minutes.
Let cool, then add the cooked rhubarb to it.
This sauce will be a little chunky, so if you like your BBQ sauce smooth just puree in food processor a few seconds.
Makes about 4 cups and will keep for months in the fridge.
* High Fructose Corn Syrup
June 1, 2014 § 4 Comments
You know spring is on it’s way when you see the gnarly leaves of the rhubarb plant emerge from the dirt. There’s no stopping it once it starts, the leaves getting bigger and bigger until the flower pops up in the middle.
Rhubarb, a perennial, is a very hardy plant that thrives in the cold northern regions. Every old farmstead likely has a rhubarb patch somewhere, having been made into pies and sauces for the family get togethers through the years and still going strong.
It doesn’t require much care, producing ruby red stalks for decades each spring. Every few years you can divide the plant and either start a new patch or pass it on to a gardening friend or family member. There’s only one important point you must know, in case you don’t already, and that is that the leaves are highly poisonous. I just cut the leaves off right in the garden and add them to the compost pile.
Rhubarb will keep for about a week in the fridge, but I find it easiest to just go out and pick some when I need it. You can freeze it, but not very well in my opinion, kind of turns to mush.
Here are a few recipes using rhubarb. One is for scones, one for chutney, and one for a syrup. And don’t forget the Rhubarb Clafouti!
Strawberry Rhubarb Scones
3 cups flour, I use white spelt
1/2 cup organic sugar
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
3/4 cup buttermilk
1 cup chopped rhubarb
1 cup sliced strawberries
Line a baking sheet with parchment or grease lightly.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Mix the dry ingredients together.
Add the butter pieces and work into the flour mixture with your fingers or a fork until you have pea sized pieces throughout.
Add buttermilk and fruit and stir gently with a fork until combined. don’t overwork or they’ll be tough. The dough will be on the moist side.
Lightly flour the baking sheet and pat out the dough, making a circle about 10 inches wide.
Cut into even pieces, like a pizza. You can sprinkle with a little extra sugar if you like.
Bake about 18 to 25 minutes, until lightly browned.
Rhubarb Raisin Chutney
This chutney is great on sandwiches, like ham or roast pork. It also makes a nice glaze for pork tenderloin, chops or fish.
2 1/2 cups roughly chopped rhubarb
1/4 to 1/2 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp dry mustard
1/4 tsp salt
1/3 cup golden raisins
In a medium sized pot combine maple syrup, vinegar, onion, coriander, ginger, mustard and salt. Bring to a boil, then cook for about 5 minutes, uncovered.
Add the rhubarb and raisins and continue cooking, simmering actually, another 15 minutes or so, until rhubarb is softened. You don’t want mush here, so keep an eye on it.
Remove from the heat, then taste for sweetness, adding more maple syrup if you’d like.
Makes about 2 cups.
Strawberry Rhubarb Syrup
This is a delicious syrup you can drizzle over vanilla ice cream or pound cake. Use instead of maple syrup on pancakes or french toast. It’s also great mixed with a little sparking water and a splash of vodka. Ok, maybe more than a splash.
1 1/2 cups chopped rhubarb
1 cup sliced strawberries
3/4 cup sugar, organic preferably organic
1 cup water
In saucepan, combine all ingredients.
Bring to a boil and cook about 15 minutes until rhubarb is soft.
Put through a fine mesh strainer to separate pulp. You can either discard it or mix it with butter or cream cheese and spread on a bagel. Stir it into oatmeal or yogurt with some nuts for breakfast. Yum.
Makes about 1 1/2 cups.
May 27, 2012 § Leave a comment
What’s the first thing you think of when you hear the word rhubarb? Probably strawberry rhubarb pie, or rhubarb cobbler or rhubarb jam.
I think Spring, it’s finally here!
As soon as winter has loosened it’s grip I start checking for it. And then I can’t wait until the red stalks are big enough so I can pick some and start cooking all kinds of delicious things with it. Rhubarb needs sweetening, quite a lot, as it’s really too tart on it’s own. I like to use maple syrup, it works well in muffins, cakes, pies, and it’s particularly good with rhubarb.
Rhubarb is another one of those foods you either love or hate. I don’t know why one would hate it, maybe it’s the tart flavor? But if you love it there are so many things you can do with it. I make a delicious rhubarb chutney that’s great with meats and on sandwiches. And rhubarb clafouti is a an easy dessert you can whip up at a moment’s notice. (will post these recipes soon) My friend Priscilla said her grandmother stewed some every spring and called it her ‘spring tonic’. Rhubarb does have a lot of vitamins and minerals, calcium among them.
I got my rhubarb from a friend a long time ago, and it’s getting to be that time where I should divide it. It’s easy to do and good for the plant. Just take a shovel and cut into the crown, go deep, then replant the new piece. Rhubarb’s pretty tough, and can be almost impossible to remove completely. If you do grow your own, a reminder: it’s leaves are poisonous. (Could that be the reason rhubarb haters? ) They’re good in the compost pile though, I cut mine right in the garden and throw them in. And don’t cut the stalks with a knife, just grab a hold towards the bottom and give it a firm yank, it’ll break at the right spot.
You can keep rhubarb in the fridge for a few days before it starts to break down and get mushy. It freezes well, just cut the stalks into chunks, about 1 inch or so in length, put on cookie sheet, pop into freezer and when solid, seal in freezer bags.
The first rhubarb thing I made with my new batch this year was this delicious rhubarb bread. It’s very moist and great toasted with butter, in the morning with coffee or a snack anytime. After a day or so, keep it in the fridge, if it lasts that long.
1/2 cup maple syrup or 1 cup sugar
6 Tbl butter, melted ( I used 3 butter and 3 coconut oil)
1/2 cup yogurt, or you can use sour cream
2 Tbls fresh orange juice
zest of one orange (organic preferably)
2 1/2 cups flour (white spelt is what I always use)
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups diced rhubarb
What you do:
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Melt the butter and coconut oil, if using. While it’s melting, whisk the maple syrup (or sugar) and egg together until nicely blended. Then add the melted butter/oil, then the yogurt/sour cream, orange juice and zest.
Mix the flour, baking soda, salt together in a separate bowl and add this to the liquid ingredients.
Stir in the rhubarb. The batter will be thick, this is ok as the rhubarb will release some juice into it as it cooks.
Put batter into a greased and floured 9″ x 5″ loaf pan. Bake about 50 to 65 minutes, check after 50. Test with toothpick or knife to make sure it’s done.
Cool this before you cut into it or it will crumble away.
You could add some nuts to this, chopped hazelnuts are really good. Just sprinkle some on top before you put it in the oven. You could also add some cinnamon, nutmeg, even a little grated ginger to the batter. Rhubarb goes well with all these.