City Palate

The Wine and Beer Issue - May June 2017

6 Quick Ways with Rhubarb
Untitled Document

May June 2016

from Chris Halpin

rhubarb lemonade

The great thing about this beverage is that it tastes so refreshing and it's also slimming. It turns out that rhubarb has a chemical compound that actually shrinks your cell tissue. In a pot over medium heat, put 6 c. water, 4 c. fresh rhubarb, coarsely chopped, and 1-1/2 c. sugar. Stir until the sugar has dissolved. Bring this to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let steep for 5 minutes more, before straining into a pitcher. Add the juice of 2 lemons, 4 or 5 handfuls of ice, and stir until all the ice has melted, then add another handful of ice before serving. Makes 9 cups.

rhubarb and leek chutney

This is my version of a chutney that I first had at Magnolia's in Lunenburg N.S., many years ago, and it's still my go-to chutney for salmon. In a saucepan over medium heat, put 2 T. butter, 1 medium leek, thinly sliced, 1 T. ground coriander, 1/2 t. smoked paprika and 1 t. salt. Sauté until the leeks are wilted, about 3 to 5 minutes. Add 2 c. finely sliced rhubarb, 1 c. sugar and 1 c. water, bring to a boil and reduce to simmer. Cook until pulpy and thick, about 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from heat, stir in 1/4 c. cider vinegar and 1 t. Sriracha sauce. This chutney is delish with everything from grilled cheese to curry. Makes 3-1/2 cups.

rhubarb vinaigrette

This is the dressing to set off a bountiful tossed salad. Also great as a sauce over any cold roast meat. Into a blender or food processor, put 1 c. chopped rhubarb, frozen or fresh, 1/2 c. water, 1/4 c. olive oil, 2 T. honey, 2 T. raspberry vinegar, 2 t. Dijon mustard, 1 t. ground sumac (find at specialty food stores and Silk Road Spice Merchant) and blend until smooth. Makes 2 cups.

baked chicken with rhubarb and bacon

Rhubarb and bacon – wow! Preheat the oven to 375° F. In a skillet over high heat, put 6 rashers of bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces, and fry until crispy. While the bacon is frying, rinse, blot dry, salt and pepper 4 chicken thighs with legs. Once the bacon is crispy, remove and set aside for later. To the remaining bacon fat, add the chicken and brown on both sides. When the chicken is browned, add 2 onions, finely sliced and sauté about 5 minutes. Add in the crispy bacon, 4 sage leaves, finely sliced, 2 c. rhubarb cut into 1/2-inch pieces. Sauté a minute more before adding 2 c. cava (sparkling wine) or a medium-bodied white wine. Place in the oven and bake until the chicken skin is golden brown and crispy and the rhubarb is soft, about 35 to 40 minutes. In the last 10 minutes of baking, brush 1/4 c. maple syrup over everything and lightly salt; return to the oven and finish baking. Serves 4.

roasted spring carrots, fennel and rhubarb with garlic

This is great as a hot side or serve it cold with crumbled chèvre and pine nuts as a salad. Preheat the oven to 375° F. Cut 6 small carrots into finger-sized pieces and 2 small fennel bulbs into wedges. Arrange the vegetables on a baking tray, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle 1/2 t. cumin, salt and a pinch of chile flakes, and roll to evenly coat. Bake in the oven for 25 to 30 minutes, or until tender and evenly roasted. While the vegetables are roasting, cut 2 stalks of rhubarb into 1/2-inch pieces and place in a bowl with 6 garlic cloves, peeled and cut in half lengthwise. To this, add 1 T. sherry vinegar, 2 T. honey and a pinch of salt, mix well. In the last 15 minutes of roasting, place the rhubarb beside the other vegetables and return to the oven to finish roasting. When finished, toss everything together and adjust the salt to your liking. Serves 4 to 6.

rhubarb, summer berry semifreddo

Semifreddo is Italian for halffrozen, a dessert whose perfection is fleeting when made in the traditional way. We are trying to get a magical moment, where it is firm enough to cut, but not yet rigid. What I've discovered is that adding booze to the recipe stops the dessert from becoming too hard. Put into a saucepan 3 c. thinly sliced rhubarb, fresh or frozen, 1 c. water and 1-1/2 c. sugar. Place over medium heat and stir until the sugar has dissolved. Once boiling, reduce the heat and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring from time to time. Once the mixture has cooked to a fine pulpy consistency, remove from heat. When cooled to room temperature, add 1/2 c. Chambord or Limoncello and stir. Line a bowl or jelly-mold with plastic wrap; arrange 1/2 c. raspberries and 1 c. blackberries on the bottom and add the rhubarb. Gently fold over the excess plastic to cover and place in the freezer for at least 3 hours. Will be great for up to a week. Serves 6.