Sweet and savory rhubarb
By Katy G. Wilkens
I usually think of pies when I think of rhubarb. Or, perhaps a rhubarb bread or a bowl of sweetened rhubarb drizzled over ice cream or yogurt. I admit I was skeptical when my husband said he was making rhubarb salsa.
But that tartness in rhubarb can be used to advantage when paired with savory flavors like ginger, peppercorns, sage, cilantro, or bell peppers.
And in fact, it was delicious, especially when served with grilled chicken breasts. We got even more adventurous and made a wonderful rhubarb chutney to serve with pork.
Now rhubarb is on our staple list for savory entrees as well as for sweeter uses like pies, cakes, and crisps. And of course, there is always rhubarb lemonade and rhubarb tea. Try substituting rhubarb for pineapple in an upside-down cake, our new favorite sweet rhubarb recipe.
½ cup water
2 cups rhubarb, cut in half-inch slices
2 tablespoons grated orange peel
½ cup diced green pepper
½ cup diced purple onion
½ jalapeno pepper, diced fine (optional)
2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
½ cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon honey
½ cup chopped fresh cilantro
Heat rhubarb with water and orange peel in a medium-sized saucepan. Cook, stirring occasionally, until rhubarb is tender, about 10-15 minutes. Let cool, and then add peppers, onion and ginger. Stir in honey and sugar to taste. Add fresh cilantro and stir. Serve with grilled chicken breasts or pork chops.
Calories: 23, Carbohydrates:6 grams, Protein: 0 grams, Sodium: 2 milligrams
Use this glaze on a pork tenderloin the last 5 minutes of cooking or serve alongside pork or chicken. Keeps in the refrigerator for several months. Hot water bath canning will keep even longer since it contains vinegar.
2 cups rhubarb, cut in ½ inch slices
1 tablespoon grated ginger
1 clove garlic, minced
1-2 jalapeno peppers to taste (optional)
1 tablespoon mustard seed
½ cup dried currants, dried cherries or chopped raisins
½ cup brown sugar
1 cup white wine vinegar or cider vinegar
Chop all ingredients and put in saucepan. Bring to a boil and simmer about 15 minutes, until rhubarb is tender. Serve warm or chilled. Keeps several weeks refrigerated.
Calories: 25, Carbohydrates: 6 grams, Protein: 0 grams, Sodium: 2 milligrams
Want to learn more about Eating Well and Living Well? Katy G. Wilkens leads a team of registered dietitians that teach FREE nutrition classes at convenient times and locations around Puget Sound. The Eating Well, Living Well classes teach people how to eat healthier to slow the progress of kidney disease and postpone dialysis. Studies show that working with a registered dietitian can postpone dialysis for as long as two years. Learn more at www.nwkidney.org/classes.
[Katy G. Wilkens is a registered dietitian and department head at Northwest Kidney Centers. The National Kidney Foundation Council on Renal Nutrition has honored her with its highest awards for excellence in education and for significant contributions in renal nutrition. She has also been awarded the Medal of Excellence in kidney nutrition from the American Association of Kidney Patients.]