Rhubarb, Rhubarb, RhubarbMay 23, 2012
An Ode to Rhubarb
Apologies for my rather lame attempt at Haiku. I remember being forced to write poetry in school, then recite it to the class. The sinking look of despair in my teacher’s face always reflected how dismal my poems were. All I will say is that there’s a darn good reason I ended up taking the business/law route and not anything more creative!
The point is, I really do love rhubarb, and find it difficult to go past it on the menu. Favourite rhubarb dishes eaten out include the rhubarb cannoli at Grossi Florentino’s, the rhubarb jam doughnuts at Huxtable, and the rhubarb, mango and pistachio bircher museli at the Hardware Societe. I love its tart taste and slightly fibrous texture, not to mention the brilliant red colour.
It was a Friday night dinner for the family, courtesy of yours truly. I began by preparing the dessert; rhubarb fool. Stew the chopped rhubarb for about seven minutes with a good dose of sugar and a little water until it’s reached the consistency you want. There was plenty left over after the meal, so I’ve been eating it with my bircher in the mornings.
I also made some almond praline, being very careful not to burn the sugar (or myself)!
The praline went towards the dessert and also this salad; baby spinach, red onion, strawberries, feta with a cider vinaigrette. This salad runs contrary to all rational thoughts of what shouldn’t taste good; the ingredients seem incongruous but the result is sublime.
Pasta with a stupidly simple sauce of lemon juice, zest, parmesan and basil. So freaking excellent.
For dessert, I took the cooled rhubarb puree and folded it into some whipped cream with a sprinkling of praline on top. Rhubarb is the perfect fruit for a fool because of its tart taste, so the whole dish isn’t super-sweet. Delicious.
Credit to Nic for the pasta/salad recipes and to Stephanie Alexander for the rhubarb fool. Props also to Nic for making me laugh at myself and showing me the clip Eat It, Don’t Tweet It. The notion of Yakima applewood smoked sea-salt sends me into a fit of giggles every time. Here’s to the pretentiousness of food!
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