June 26, 2020
Jessica Olson recently pickled some rhubarb. A family member declared "it made the whole house smell like stinky feet. Worth it, though, to make kale confetti salad from Kim Ode's 'Rhubarb Renaissance' recipe book," she said.
1 cup rhubarb, cut in quarter-inch pieces
1/3 cup sugar
½ cup white balsamic vinegar
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon mustard seeds
Place rhubarb in a shallow heatproof bowl. In a small saucepan, combine remaining ingredients and bring to a boil; cook until sugar dissolves. Pour mixture over the rhubarb and let sit at room temperature for at least 3 hours before using. The flavor even improves if refrigerated overnight. Any leftover pickling liquid can be refrigerated for future use.
kale confetti salad
1 bunch (12–15 leaves) Lacinato kale
3 tablespoons pickling liquid from rhubarb
3 tablespoons walnut oil
hefty pinch salt
several grinds pepper
4 ounces aged Gouda, cut in fat matchsticks (about 1 cup)
1 tablespoon butter
½ cup fresh bread crumbs, preferably sourdough
½ cup candied walnuts, roughly chopped
Remove center rib from kale leaves, stack several pieces, then slice crosswise into a fine julienne. You should end up with about 5 cups. Rinse kale and pat dry between paper towels or use a salad spinner.
Whisk together pickling liquid and walnut oil. Season with salt and pepper. Toss dressing with the kale, then gently fold in the cheese and drained rhubarb. Place in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes so the kale softens a bit; it can chill for up to 3 hours.
Heat butter in a small saucepan over medium heat, then add bread crumbs, stirring to coat. Cook, stirring, until crumbs are golden and crisp. Set aside.
Before serving, toss salad again, add bread crumbs and walnuts, and toss once more. Serves six.
Lissa Maki wrote about her passion for rhubarb on the honestcooking.com recipe site. "For me, rhubarb signifies the start of summer and brings back fond childhood memories. As kids, we would break off long stalks of the ultra-tart vegetable and eat them raw, dipped in sugar. It was a tantalizing rush of sweet and sour ... This is one of my all-time favorite rhurbarb recipes. It's my great grandma Annie Purkat's recipe, slightly adapted."
Old-Fashioned Rhubarb Cake
½ cup butter (slightly softened)
1½ cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
3 cups rhubarb, chopped and mixed with 1 tablespoon of flour
Cinnamon-sugar to taste
Mix the butter, sugar, vanilla and eggs together.
Combine the flours, soda and salt in a separate bowl.
Alternately mix portions of the buttermilk and dry ingredients with the creamed butter mixture until combined.
Fold in the rhubarb.
Bake at 350 degrees in a greased, 9x13 cake pan for 35-40 minutes.
Sprinkle the cake with a mixture of cinnamon-sugar.
Carol Mohrbacher included her grandmother's classic recipe on her cookeryandrhetoric.com blog site. "My grandma, Ailene Niemi, won prizes in a couple of small town fairs with this rhubarb pie recipe. Mom said Gram also made a spring tonic out of rhubarb, a practice probably learned from my Finnish great-grandma, Minnie. I personally consider rhubarb to be Minnesota's state fruit."
GRANDMA NIEMI'S RHUBARB CUSTARD PIE
1/4 cup flour
3/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 1/4 to 1 2/3 cup sugar (try using brown sugar for 1/4 of the sugar–MmmMmm)
3 slightly beaten eggs
4 cups cut up rhubarb
2 tablespoons butter
Combine flour, nutmeg, and sugar. Mix in slightly beaten eggs. Add rhubarb. Line pie plate with pastry. Fill with rhubarb mixture. Dot with butter. Top with lattice crust.
Bake in hot oven 400 degrees for 50-60 minutes.
CAROL'S FOOL-PROOF OIL PASTRY CRUST
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup vegetable or canola oil
3 tablespoons cold water
Mix flour and salt. Blend in oil thoroughly with fork. Sprinkle all of the cold water over the mixture. Mix thoroughly. Divide mixture into 2 balls. Seal one ball in Tupperware-type bowl. Sprinkle a few drops of water on the counter or board to keep wax paper from sliding. Put 12-to-14-inch long piece of waxed paper (plastic wrap won't work) down. Put dough in middle. Flatten slightly with hand. Put another piece of waxed paper on top of dough and roll out to pie plate size. Take top wax paper off dough. Flip over into pie plate and remove other waxed paper sheet.
Repeat again with other dough ball. For lattice top, cut in strips and place over filling in woven grid pattern.