Never Rue a Rhubarb Recipe

Tears. It's almost the end of rhubarb season! So far I've whipped up Strawberry-Rhubarb Pudding Cake twice for friends and coworkers, but not yet: rhubarb pie, rhubarb sauce to pour over yogurt or ice cream, not to mention all the other ways I should try to use rhubarb since I consider myself a devotee. Have you ever used rhubarb in a savory dish? I've seen recipes out there, but can't give up on my sweet ones.

Saturday I feared the rhubarb window may have closed. This plant, after all, does not like heat. I crossed my fingers as I headed to Reston Farmer's Market where I met a rhubarb/herb/flower vendor a few weeks back (LadyBug Mountain Farm, I believe). His rhubarb is longer and greener than most rhubarb stalks I've seen, but cheaper than the grocery store's and obviously fresher! About a month ago, I was just starting my rounds of the market with my rhubarb-radar on, when I heard someone yell, "Rhubarb? You want rhubarb?" Joking about his shameless self-promotion later, he cajoled me into adding two more stalks to my heap on the scale, tipping it over three pounds. This Saturday as in the past, the two-foot stalks stuck out of my bag awkwardly as I poked my way around the rest of the market. Why does it look chic when a baguette peeks out of a shoulder bag, but scream "crazy cat lady" when it's rhubarb?

Brushing off the cookbook, Jacques Pépin Celebrates, which I've never used before because, let's face it: 1) He may be on public television, but he's still French and French food= complicated, and 2) This book contains directions for carving a melon swan (really?!), I decided on the Rhubarb Galette. In Italian, it's called a "crostata." In English, that translates roughly to "lazy person pie." I've made crostatas before, but the one big take-away from Pépin was to put a mixture of ground almonds, flour and sugar on the crust before pouring the fruit on. The almonds and flour soak up some of the fruit juices so the crust can be crusty. Genius. 

The 2-2.5 in. cuts or rhubarb seemed hefty, but once it cooked, the size made total sense.

Galette=A simple all-butter pie crust (pâte brisée) made in the food processor, top with raw fruit, roll-over the edges (Thank you, parchment paper.), two tablespoons of butter and just shy of 1/3 cup of sugar (seemed excessive at the time, but it was not).

 After a little over an hour in the oven, the rhubarb was tender and the crust was golden.


No comments:

Post a Comment