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Although it is still pretty cold and on-and-off rainy here, bundles of rhubarb appeared everywhere at yesterday’s farmers market here in Seattle. I usually associate this vibrant vegetable (yes – it’s a vegetable!) with Springtime – so I was pleasantly surprised to see displays of the celery-like, ruby-colored stacks. I purchased a few bunches and immediately starting trying to figure out what I could make besides the traditional rhubarb crisp, rhubarb upside down cake or rhubarb pie. I was in the mood for something savory and two recipes popped into my mind: a wonderful sweet and sour type chicken dish, and a tangy, pink-colored salad dressing that would be good on a main dish salad.
And it just so happened that I had a left-over chunk of rare beef tenderloin steak in my refrigerator along with some steamed sweet potatoes, blanched asparagus spears, toasted walnuts, and various peppers and root vegetables. And of course I had some organic salad greens – in this case arugula.
It took just one try to make a gorgeous, zesty salad dressing. Just a little different from my usual and a much more seasonal version. I was so pleased with the results that I’ve decided this vinaigrette is going right into my regular spring line up!
Makes about 1 cup
- 1 medium sized rhubarb stalk, thinly sliced (about 1/2-cup)
- ½ cup water
- 2 Tbsp. honey (more or less to taste)
- 2 tsp Dijon mustard (regular or grainy)
- 2 Tbsp. unseasoned rice vinegar
- 2 Tbsp canola oil
- 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
In a small saucepan, simmer the rhubarb in water, covered, for 5-10 minutes until it is very, very mushy.
Put the stewed rhubarb with all the remaining liquid into a blender with the honey, vinegar and mustard. Pulse until smooth. With the motor running, slowly pour in the oils until it thickens.
Store in refrigerator for about a week.
I love these seasonally inspired dinners! And many of you will find rhubarb growing in unexpected places or at local markets. Be sure to watch for next week’s chicken rhubarb creation.