Let me start by saying that rhubarb is quite possibly one of my favorite fruit-like vegetables. Sadly, it is often overlooked by modern day gardeners and foodies alike. I have decided to start a one-woman campaign to bring this perennial plant that pops up early in spring and thrives on neglect, back into fashion.
Here are a couple of things you need to know about it from a foodie perspective:
- It is an incredibly tart vegetable that is treated like a fruit
- Only the stems are edible, do not eat the leaves as they are poisonous
- There is no need to peel the stems, just wash thoroughly
- The stems can be chopped and added to recipes or cooked down into a sauce that resembles the texture of apple sauce, then added to recipes
- Surprisingly, its flavor is easily overwhelmed by other ingredients
- Rhubarb is acidic and when made into a sauce and then combined with a base like baking soda, causes a chemical reaction that results in one hell of a leavening agent
I am sure I will think of other tips, which I will include as I write about the various recipes I develop over the harvest season. I have one rhubarb plant, but that thing is huge and gives our family plenty. On Wednesday, I will post my favorite recipe for rhubarb bread.
Rhubarb Cake with Citrus Glaze
You Will Need:
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
2 1/4 cups flower
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
3/4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1 1/2 cups rhubarb compote*
8 stalks of rhubarb
pinch of salt
4 tbs sugar
juice of one tangerine
gratings from one tangerine
1/2 tbsp butter
Chop rhubarb into half inch pieces and saute over medium low heat. Add butter, salt, sugar and tangerine juice and gratings. Stir frequently, do not let burn or brown. Let it reduce until it becomes the consistency of applesauce, ensure that you have at least a cup and a half for the recipe.Set aside to cool.
The cake recipe is really easy...Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease a bundt pan. In a large mixing bowl, combine sugar, oil, and vanilla, mix to combine, in a separate bowl, break the eggs and whisk, add a bit of the compote while whisking to temper, add remaining compote while whisking. Then add the mixture to the mixing bowl and mix to combine.
Next add flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Mix to combine. Pour the mixture into a bundt pan and bake for 45-55 minutes or until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean.