After being blessed with such an early harvest last year, everything feels late. It’s like spring will never come. Of course, there’s greens (there’s always greens), but I wanted real spring. Asparagus, garlic scapes, strawberries. I religiously follow GrowNYC’s twitter feeds. It’s honestly the best way to see what’s at the markets right now. When I noticed rhubarb had hit the markets I was beyond excited. That is until I remembered I had designated Mother’s Day dessert duty to my sister-in-law. What else could I possibly do with rhubarb besides stick it in a pie, crisp or spoon a sauce of it over a panna cotta?
The internet produced plenty of savory rhubarb recipes—all involving meat. The main course was set. In fact, it was nearly a day and a half into its three-day cooking process. Not exactly the appropriate time to rethink a course. Finally Martha Stewart came to the rescue with her Rhubarb Salad with Goat Cheese. I’m not a huge fan of Martha. I don’t hate her or anything, I’m really indifferent. But she really saved my butt this time.
Get to the market too late and your hopes of even scoring a piece of rhubarb will vanish. My first stop on Saturday morning was the Grand Army Plaza greenmarket. I frantically walked through the market twice before stopping at GrowNYC’s info booth to check on the rhubarb status. One stand had some, but it was “probably long gone”. I swung by the Park Slope Food Coop, just in case but their rhubarb was classified as USA. Maybe local, maybe not. I wasn’t taking my chances. With a heavy heart, I schlepped into Manhattan to the Union Square greenmarket where I’m convinced managed to snag the last few stalks of local rhubarb left in New York City. Being a locavore is tough!
With rhubarb in hand, I got to cooking. I switched up the recipe a bit, marinating the rhubarb for a short while, to let the sweetness of the honey soak in, and switching up the proportions. The recipe called for 4 bunches of arugula for 4 servings. Either Martha really loves arugula or our bunches at the market are a bit on the larger side. I ended up with 3 bunches and still way too much. The salad was the perfect course to begin a Mother’s Day meal. Light and crisp, it shouted “Spring is HERE!” The honey soaked rhubarb was sweet but still just tart enough and the acid from the vinaigrette brought everything together.
Honey Roasted Rhubarb Salad (Adapted from Martha Stewart) Serves 6
- 1/4 c olive oil
- 2 tbsp white balsamic vinegar
- Sea salt and fresh ground pepper
- 1 lb rhubarb cut into 3/4-inch pieces (about 2 cups)
- 2 tbsp honey
- 1/2 cup walnut halves
- 2 bunches of arugula, washed and tough ends removed (about 8 cups)
- 1/2 c thinly sliced fennel
- 4 oz goat cheese, crumbled
Whisk oil, vinegar, salt and pepper together in a small bowl or salad jar. This can be done a few days ahead and stored in the refrigerator. Bring to room temperature before serving.
Preheat oven to 450°F. Toss rhubarb and honey together in a medium bowl. Marinate for 10 minutes. Spread onto a parchment lined baking sheet and roast for 6-8 minutes until rhubarb has slightly softened and can easily be pierced with a fork. Let cool. Meanwhile, roast walnuts on a rimmed baking sheet for 10 minutes. Let cool complete and chop.
To plate the salad, evenly distribute arugula on 6 medium plates. Sprinkle with sliced fennel, chopped walnuts, goat cheese and roasted rhubarb. Drizzle with vinaigrette and serve immediately.
- Simple Sides: Balsamic Roasted Asparagus (bklynlocavore.com)
- Roasted rhubarb with ginger and vanilla egg custard (sweetenoughthanks.wordpress.com)
- Preserved: Millionaire’s Cherry Rhubarb Jam (sweets.seriouseats.com)
- Beet, Rhubarb, and Orange Salad (thebittenword.com)
- Rhubarb and Lentil Curry (jennychandlerblog.com)