Roasted Rhubarb Vinaigrette

Last week, I had a few stalks of rhubarb leftover after a crumble-for-two. Before they got lost and rubbery beneath the early-CSA kale, arugula, and spinach in the crisper, I transformed them into a bright and tangy topping for all that early-CSA kale, arugula, and spinach in the crisper.

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My own plants are going berserk because the adjacent fig tree has been slow filling in this year.

Those sturdy, deep, dark greens demand a sturdy dressing (see also maple-tahini and June-Swoon). And this high-viscosity vinaigrette, which gets an emulsifying trip thorugh the blender—and some added gel-action from the fibrous rhubarb itself—is a leaf-coating, mouth-coating blast of sweet-tart bliss.

 

 

Try it with a spinach and/or arugula salad with a little sliced spring onion, celery leaves, strawberries, chèvre, and toasted pecans or almonds.

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Roasted Rhubarb Vinaigrette

I like the depth roasting adds here, but if you’d rather poach the rhubarb, I can attest that that’s delicious, too. Just give the stalks a rough chop, then simmer them in a few tablespoons of water for 6-8 minutes, until fully soft.

  • 1/2 pound rhubarb stalks
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup, divided
  • 1/2 tsp minced shallot (or more)
  • 1 tbsp red vinegar (my favorite is Keepwell‘s Concord Grape, but a good red-wine vinegar is just fine)
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • water, as necessary
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1-2 tbsp chopped parsley
  • 1 tbsp poppy seeds (optional)

Set oven to 325ºF.

Arrange the rhubarb in single layer in a shallow, oven-proof dish. Scatter the shallot on top, then drizzle the syrup over the lot. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until completely soft.

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No real need for precision here, since you’re gonna pulverize it anyway, but you’ll know the rhubarb’s soft enough when the weight alone of a sharp fork or knife easily pierces the stalk.

Scrape the stalks and any liquid into the bowl of a blender or food processor. Add the vinegar, mustard, oil, and a tablespoon of water. Pulse until smooth. If it’s too thick, steam in a little more water until you get a consistency you like.

Stir in salt and pepper, parsley, and poppy seeds to taste.

Will keep for up to two weeks in the fridge. Note, though, that the flavor is best closer to room temperature than icebox-cold.

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By the way, when strawberry season yields more than a handful to top a salad, this same technique works great with berries subbing for the rhubarb.

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