Five Rhubarb Recipes for the Longer, Warmer Days Ahead


Biscoff rhubarb ice cream cake.Julie Van Rosendaal/The Globe and Mail

Brilliant pink-red rhubarb is one of the most exciting things to emerge from the thawing ground each spring, bringing promise of pie and crumble to urban foragers ready to tuck a paring knife into their back pockets and harvest. the wreaths unfolding in the corners of yards and between recycling bins in the alleyways.

Although it does extremely well in desserts (along with its seasonal soulmate, strawberries), rhubarb has more potential in savory dishes than we often give it credit for – the stems are slightly less acidic than the juice. of lemon or vinegar, but can impart similar acidity. to savory dishes. The bright pink color is a bonus – a cheerful way to celebrate the arrival of longer, warmer spring and summer days.

Rhubarb jam

Julie Van Rosendaal/The Globe and Mail

Rhubarb makes a fantastic sweet chutney that freezes well and keeps in the fridge for weeks. Pair it with roasted meats, fish and vegetables, cheeses or crispy pakoras, pictured here. Don’t worry about precise measurements – aim for a soft, velvety texture and adjust the sugar, vinegar and spices as desired.

Ingredients (for about 1 cup)

1 small shallot or a piece of red onion, finely chopped

2-3 cups chopped rhubarb (fresh or frozen)

1/4 cup golden raisins (optional)

2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger

1/2 cup sugar (white or brown)

1/4 cup apple cider or red wine vinegar

1 teaspoon black mustard seeds

1 cinnamon stick

Pinch of red pepper flakes

Pinch of salt

Mix everything together in a large saucepan, bring to a boil, reduce the heat and cook for 10-15 minutes, until the rhubarb starts to break down and the mixture is crispy – add a little water if that seems dry.

Remove the cinnamon stick and pour it into a jar or other container to store in the fridge for up to a month or freeze longer.

Rhubarb vinaigrette

Julie Van Rosendaal/The Globe and Mail

Cooked sweet rhubarb makes for a wonderfully rosy dressing, with the fiber adding body to the dressing and helping it to emulsify. You can simmer a single stalk with a little water just for this purpose, or dip in a batch you already have in the fridge.

Ingredients (for about 3/4 cup)

1 small stalk rhubarb or about 1/4 cup cooked rhubarb (sweetened or unsweetened)

2 tablespoons rice, white wine or apple cider vinegar

1-2 tablespoons of honey

1-2 teaspoons grainy mustard or Dijon

1/2 cup canola or other mild vegetable oil

If you are starting with raw or frozen rhubarb, chop it up and put it in a small saucepan, add about 1/4 cup water and simmer for about 10 minutes, or until very soft ; mash and let cool slightly.

Whisk or blend rhubarb, vinegar, honey, mustard and oil in a small blender or with a hand immersion blender until smooth. Store in a jar in the fridge for up to a month.

Rhubarb aioli

Julie Van Rosendaal/The Globe and Mail

Pale pink aioli is delicious with roast chicken or fish, crispy fries or roast potatoes, and can be used to dress all sorts of spring and summer dishes – it pairs well with salads. cold pasta, potatoes and poached or grilled salmon. You can simmer a stem just for this, or use a heaping spoonful from a batch you already have in the fridge.

Ingredients (for about 1 cup)

1 small stalk rhubarb or 1/4 cup cooked rhubarb (sweetened or unsweetened)

1 egg yolk or 2-3 tablespoons liquid chickpeas or canned white beans

1 teaspoon of mustard

pinch of salt

3/4 cup canola or other mild vegetable oil

If you are starting with raw or frozen rhubarb, chop it up and put it in a small saucepan, add about 1/4 cup water and simmer for about 10 minutes, or until very soft ; let cool slightly.

Put the rhubarb and its cooking liquid (you’ll need about 1/4 cup) in a high-sided measuring cup or other container along with the egg yolk, mustard and a pinch of salt. Top with oil to make 1 cup.

Put a hand-held immersion blender into the measuring cup, all the way to the bottom, and turn it on. Hold it in place for about 10 seconds, then slowly pull it through the mixture as it thickens. Store in the fridge for up to a week.

Rhubarb Biscoff Ice Cream Cake

Julie Van Rosendaal/The Globe and Mail

You might be familiar with those old-fashioned dessert logs made of whipped cream-slathered chocolate wafers that soften to a sliceable consistency in the fridge; this version is made with Biscoff cookies and a swirl pink rhubarb fool. Served chilled or frozen (wholly or partially), it’s a wonderful make-ahead dessert for special events, or a dessert you can keep in the freezer to slice as needed, just for you.

Ingredients (for 8 to 10 people)

4 cups chopped fresh or frozen rhubarb

3/4 cup sugar

3 cups whipping cream (divided)

3 tablespoons icing sugar (divided)

1/4 teaspoon vanilla

2 packets of Biscoff (or fine ginger biscuits, or speculoos biscuits)

In a large saucepan, simmer the rhubarb and sugar for 10-15 minutes, until the rhubarb softens and breaks down. (If it’s fresh, a little water can help get it started.) Once you have a thick sauce, set it aside to cool, then refrigerate until cold. (You can do this up to a week in advance.)

In a large bowl, beat 2 cups whipping cream with 2 tablespoons icing sugar and vanilla until soft peaks form. Stir in the cooled rhubarb compote, letting it swirl.

Line an 8×4-inch loaf pan—a high-sided pan, if you have one—with plastic wrap. Spread some of the rhubarb cake on the bottom, then start rolling out cookies with some of the cake and stacking them upright on their sides, in rows like books. (It doesn’t matter how you arrange the cookies – just think of them as bricks, with the nuts as mortar, and imagine what the resulting section will look like.)

Stack cookies until your loaf pan is full – some can hold two rows of cookies, but shallower pans are only deep enough for one, although you can stack a few cookies flat to fill any extra space . Finish with a layer of cookies on top, which will form the base. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate or freeze. (It will be more stable if frozen and may thaw a bit before slicing or once the slices are on plates.)

When ready to serve, whip the remaining cup of whipping cream with a tablespoon of icing sugar until soft, stiff peaks form. Invert the cake from the cooler onto a serving plate or cutting board. (If it’s frozen, you may need to let it sit for a few minutes or place a warm cloth outside the pan for a minute to help it loosen.) Remove plastic wrap and spread or pipe whipped cream everywhere. the sides and the top. If it’s frozen, let it sit at room temperature for about 20 minutes to make it easier to slice.

Slice to serve and if desired, let the pieces sit on the plate for a few minutes to thaw before serving – they will hold their shape but be soft, like cookies and cream.

Eton Mess

Julie Van Rosendaal/The Globe and Mail

Rhubarb Eton mess is a classic British dessert made with trifle and pavlova, usually made with the first stalks of the season. Feel free to add other juicy fruits to the mix – berries, plums and peaches pair well with rhubarb and can be chopped up and added while simmering. Start with store-bought meringues if you want to streamline the process; homemade tend to be a bit more marshmallow, if you like them that way.

Ingredients (for 6 to 8 people)

3/4 cup sugar

1 teaspoon cornstarch

3 large egg whites

4 cups chopped fresh or frozen rhubarb

3/4 cup + 2 tbsp sugar (divided)

2 cups whipped cream

1/4 teaspoon vanilla

To make the meringues, preheat the oven to 250 F. In a small bowl or measuring cup, combine the sugar and cornstarch. In large bowl, beat egg whites until fluffy; gradually add sugar mixture, continuing to beat until incorporated and mixture forms stiff peaks. Drop large spoonfuls onto a sheet lined with parchment paper – don’t worry about size or spacing, you’ll smash them anyway – and cook for about an hour, until very dry. Turn the oven off and let them cool inside (they will dry out a bit more), or let them cool on the baking sheet outside the oven.

Combine the rhubarb and 3/4 cup sugar in a saucepan and cook over medium-high heat for 10-15 minutes, until the fruit softens and breaks down. Leave it chunky or stir and simmer until it breaks down completely, taste and add more sugar if needed, and let cool. Refrigerate until well chilled. (Meringues and cooked rhubarb can be made up to a week in advance.)

Whip the cream with a few tablespoons of sugar and the vanilla until it contains soft peaks and break the meringues into pieces so you have a range of chunky and chunky bits. In a trifle bowl or individual verrines, layer the meringue, cold compote and whipped cream. Serve immediately or let sit for a few minutes to allow the meringue to soften.

It’s not spring if you can’t have rhubarb in everything

Simmer any amount of chopped fresh or frozen rhubarb with sugar (3-4 tbsp per cup of rhubarb, or to taste), with a little water or orange juice if you have some fresh rhubarb and need help getting started, until the rhubarb starts to break down and the mixture is soft and crispy. Continue to cook if desired softer or thicker, then cool and refrigerate for at least a week, or freeze. Cooked rhubarb (or rhubarb compote) is delicious spooned over yogurt and granola, oatmeal, shortbread, or ice cream, or use it in a smoothie or milkshake (really!) or in one of these recipes.

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