Thursday, June 14, 2012

Kristy Rustay: Dishing Up Rhubarb!

It’s rhubarb season. Or possibly the end of rhubarb season, depending on your location. I don’t mean to light a fire under your tush, but if you love fresh, local ingredients, and you love rhubarb, there is no time to waste — buy it, pick it, freeze it, cook with it — NOW!

This weekend I did just that. I bought a bundle (a 3 1/2-pound bundle) at the farmers’ market, then I cooked with it. In retrospect I wish I had bought more and frozen some. Ahem . . . coworkers, friends, family with rhubarb patches, I am accepting donations. . . .

My locavore-licious dinner. Front center is pork tenderloin
topped with spiced rhubarb-cherry chutney.

Ever since the release of our first Dishing Up® book, Dishing Up® Maine, I have been a huge fan of the Dishing Up® series of cookbooks. Although there is no Dishing Up Massachusetts yet, the featured states are close enough to my home state or have many similar crops that the recipes suit the Massachusetts locavore in me just fine.

So for the love of rhubarb, for the love of Dishing Up®, for the love of delicious food, and for the love of local food, I made a lovely meal using the Spiced Rhubarb-Cherry Chutney recipe (see below for recipe) from Dishing Up® Oregon and the Springtime Strawberry Rhubarb Pie recipe from Dishing Up® Maine. (Admittedly, I cheated here: I made the recipe for the pie filling but used a store-bought pie crust, and I did not make the delicious crumble top that the recipe instructs you to make. Don’t judge — a girl can only do so much!)

Here’s the menu:
  • Grilled pork tenderloin with Spiced Rhubarb-Cherry Chutney
  • Green beans sauteed with shallots, garlic, lime, and cumin
  • Garlic-herb grilled potatoes (thank you, Martha Stewart Living!)
  • Green-leaf salad, with fresh peas, cucumbers, tomatoes, chives, peppers, shaved Parmesan, and balsamic vinaigrette
  • Sourdough baguette from Berkshire Bread
  • Springtime Strawberry Rhubarb Pie
  • (Highlighted in green are the locally grown or locally made ingredients.)
Spiced Rhubarb-Cherry Chutney
Most home cooks consider rhubarb a fruit, which is why it has earned the nickname “the pie plant.” But rhubarb is actually a vegetable and thus perfectly suited for savory uses as well as desserts. When I spot the first crimson stalks at the farmers’ market, I shuttle them home to make this gently spiced rhubarb-cherry chutney. Try it spooned atop slices of roasted pork tenderloin.
¾ cup packed dark brown sugar
13 cup red wine vinegar
1 ½ pounds rhubarb, cut into ½-inch pieces (4 cups)
½ cup dried cherries
Zest of 1 orange
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground cloves
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Makes about 2 cups
  1. Bring the sugar and vinegar to a boil over medium-high heat in a large saucepan. Stir in the rhubarb, cherries, orange zest, cinnamon, cloves, and black pepper with a wooden spoon, and bring the mixture back to a boil.
  2. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the rhubarb is tender and the mixture thickens slightly, about 6 minutes.
  3. Let the chutney cool to room temperature before transferring it to an airtight container. Stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator, it will keep for about 1 week. Bring to room temperature before serving.
Here is a list of all of the rhubarb recipes that can be found in the Dishing Up® cookbooks:
Raspberry-Rhubarb Fool (Dishing Up® Oregon)
Rhubarb and Red Current Fool (Dishing Up® Maryland)
Rhubarb Custard Kuchen (Dishing Up® Vermont)
Rhubarb Buckle with Candied Ginger Crumb (Dishing Up® Oregon)
Skillet Rhubarb-Ginger Chutney (Dishing Up® Maine)
Spiced Rhubarb-Cherry Chutney (Dishing Up® Oregon)
Springtime Strawberry Rhubarb Crumble-Topped Pie (Dishing Up® Maine)
Strawberry Rhubarb Pie (Dishing Up® Vermont)
Strawberry-Rhubarb Pie (Dishing Up® Maryland)
Yogurt Panna Cotta with Strawberry-Rhubarb Sauce (Dishing Up® Oregon)

No comments: