Sugar is not rhubarb’s only friend. Rhubarb also makes a beautiful pickle to top salads or sit charmingly on a cheese board. Or in chutneys and sauces to serve alongside roast pork or chicken. Check out food52.com for some great recipe inspiration.
A favorite way to use rhubarb is to cut the stalks in 3-inch portions then roast with a bit of sugar (or honey)—not too much as you’ll want to retain the eye-catching brightness. Try throwing in a vanilla bean or some fresh ginger. Roast at 400°F for about 20 minutes. Don’t disturb the stalks too much as they are incredibly tender when they cook. Serve on top of yogurt or oatmeal in the morning, put in between layers of cake or serve over ice cream for a lovely dessert.
Asparagus is best cooked as fresh as possible but if you need to store it for 3 to 4 days treat it like a bouquet of flowers. Trim a small amount from the bottoms of the stalks with a sharp knife and place them in a tall glass with a little water in the bottom. Cover the top loosely with a plastic bag, and store in the refrigerator. This will keep the stalks firm and crisp until you are ready to cook them.
To prepare: the smallest spears will only need to have their very base tough parts trimmed off before cooking. However, the bottom portions of larger asparagus spears can be chewy and woody; they will either need to be snapped off or peeled. To snap off the tough portion, simply grasp the stalk with both hands and bend the bottom portion until it breaks off. The asparagus will naturally break off at the point where the tender portion ends and the tough, stringy part begins.
The way you cook your asparagus can depend upon its size. The baby spears can be sautéed, or rubbed lightly with olive oil and grilled. With fatter spears you may want to trim them and either steam or boil them in order for them to increase their tenderness. However you choose to cook it, watch your asparagus closely so that it doesn’t get overdone. The perfectly cooked spear is easy to penetrate with a knife, but still slightly firm being bright green in color.
Featured Recipe: Stewed Cinnamon Apple & Rhubarb
1 bunch rhubarb, stalks only, trimmed and chopped into pieces
2 granny smith apples (or other tart apple), peeled cored and roughly chopped
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup whole cane sugar or honey
1 cinnamon stick
1 pinch ground cloves
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
Place everything in a pot over low heat and let simmer for 30-60 minutes until all is soft. Your house will smell amazing. Remove the cinnamon stick before eating.
Adapted from recipe by theveggiemama.com