April, the season when the red stalks of rhubarb appear in the gardens, topped with large green leaves. In addition to cakes and compotes, you can make exquisite sorbets, juices, ice creams and jams, but you can also use rhubarb in a salty version. Here are some ideas for this spring.
You may be lucky enough to have one or more rhubarb plants in your garden. So you already know that it appreciates cool corners, that it has the advantage of resisting the cold well and that it can be harvested from April to July.
Its long red stalks are often used for making pies and compotes. Furthermore, the first recipe dates back to 1807 and would have been a rhubarb pie, dstretched following a sugar shortage during World War II.
It can also be made into delicate ice creams and sorbets and even savory dishes, as suggested by Laurent Haller, chef at the gourmet restaurant, the 7eme Continent in Rixheim, Upper Rhine.
“First you need to peel the rhubarb and pull the threads “, explains the chef “It is essential for Alsace rhubarb. It has more fiber than Dutch rhubarb at the start of the season, but is less acidic and contains less water, which allows for many more cooked meals.” This chef even uses rhubarb as a condiment and finds that it goes perfectly with oysters or fish, for example.
“To make the rhubarb salad, you need to grate the stalks in order to obtain filaments. Then grate the raw asparagus on top. I add some wild garlic flowers this season and when I don’t have any left I take the capers. ”
Then the chef seasons his salad with camelina oil. “You need to put three times more oil than vinegar“. Suggestion of Laurent Haller, adds a few cubes of smoked eel over the rhubarb and grated asparagus.
“You can do many things with rhubarb“Explains Roland Freyburger, fruit and vegetable producer from Habsheim in the Upper Rhine.
Depending on the season, it makes black cherry, elderberry and rosemary syrup, and in April it’s rhubarb syrup.
“To make my rhubarb syrup, I use red or green rhubarb. The redder the stems, the less acidic they are. I cut it (according to him, it is not necessary to peel it when it is organic and washed), I cook it and collect the juice. I add the sugar and lemon for the pepper “. Impossible to get the exact proportions, that’s his trade secret. “With the pulp I make compote or jam. The good idea is to add strawberry or raspberry, aromas that go well with rhubarb. “
Roland Freyburger also produces vinegar. It has already developed fifteen. Rhubarb vinegar is on his list of upcoming creations.
Rhubarb soup is another version of rhubarb. In some cases it is associated with vegetables, such as carrots. Sometimes it is available on its own, depending on the desired taste.
Washed and peeled, the rhubarb must first cook until soft. After letting it cool, blend it until smooth. We can enrich it fresh cream, agave syrup, a pinch of cinnamon.
Only after letting it cool in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours, you can savor its full flavor.
Rhubarb, grown everywhere in France, can produce centenary plants. Culinarily it was traditionally used as a fruit, but btannically, it is classified as a vegetable. It is therefore not surprising that some also offer it in a savory version.