Yesterday, a friend of mine, who was going off-island for several days, mentioned that her rhubarb was running wild. “You should come over and take some,” she said. Later, when I was over at her place for another reason, she showed me – it certainly was robust, and there was a lot of it.
I demurred, saying I had a lot of writing to do (which I did), but I also didn’t want to get into making yet another rhubarb crisp or rhubarb pie. Don’t get me wrong – I love those dishes, and rhubarb pie is particularly special to me because my mother made the best rhubarb pie I’ve ever had, anywhere. Frankly, I should be making a rhubarb pie today for Mother’s Day in her honor. But I’ve been trying to stay away from making things that involve a lot of flour and sugar (and that I’m likely to end up eating all – or mostly – myself). And everywhere you go, people are using up their rhubarb in crisps, and cobblers, and pies. Don’t get me wrong, it’s good stuff – but it’s been done. To death.
So I said no to Barbara’s kind rhubarb offer. “If you change your mind, it’s there – just make sure to close the garden gate on your way out, so the deer don’t get in for nibbles,” she said. I went home and wrote all afternoon, but in the back of my mind, I was thinking it would be nice to grab a few stalks and do something different with them, maybe something on the savory side.
Last night, I was perusing the most recent edition of Yesterday’s Island and came across Jenn Farmer’s piece, “Brunch and Rhubarb,” with a recipe for Rhubarb and Champagne Sorbet. That’s different, if not savory, I thought, perfect for Wine Festival week, and I also loved the white and rose wine variations she suggested. Possibly good candidates that pop into my mind if you wanted to use something other than Champagne are wines that are a little off-dry, like Vouvray, Tokaji, and Reisling. And what would happen if you used a dessert wine, like Sauternes, Port, Sherry, or Recioto? You’d have to think about adjusting the amount of sugar used, but it could be interesting….
Then I got inspired, did a little Googling, and came up with a few more alternatives that looked promising (and a few great new — to me – blogs, as well!):
Savory Rhubarb and Chipotle Goat Cheese Pizza (from Eats Well With Others)
Savory Rhubarb Lentil Curry (from Scissors and Spice)
Rhubarb Chutney (from Food in Jars) — I’m particularly interested in this one, because during my internet travels I read a comment someone made about how rhubarb chutney is fabulous on cheddar cheese grilled sandwiches…
Rhubarb’s Savory Side (from La Cucina Italiana magazine) — There are several recipes here — all look good but, personally, I’m drawn to the Tagliatelle with Rhubarb and Fresh Dill, Braised Guinea Hen with Rhubarb and Red Onions, and the Tandoori Shrimp with Crispy Rice and Rhubarb
Rhubarb: Sweet and Savory – the Kitchn has gathered a few additional ideas for savory rhubarb preparations that look tempting, particularly a New York Time’s recipe for Shad with Pineapple-Rhubarb Salsa.
Not sure yet which one of these I’m going to try first. Hopefully the deer haven’t beaten me to the rhubarb yet (I did close that door, didn’t I?…)
Do you have any favorite savory rhubarb recipes? I’d love to hear about them! And if you try any of the recipes above, I’d love to hear how they come out….