I did something with rhubarb that I've never done before...

I made pickles!

A highlight of May each year is being able to start harvesting rhubarb from my yard, but I don't do a lot of baking at home (go figure, owning a bakery) so I wanted to look into some savoury applications. This tart and delicious plant is a vegetable after all, even though it's usually prepared like a fruit. So, since I was pickling some other vegetables this weekend, I thought I'd try a couple of jars of rhubarb as well.

I made a brine of 1 cup pickling vinegar (7%), 2 cups water, 1 tbsp coarse salt, and 1/4 cup sugar. I added a bit of cinnamon stick, star anise, cloves, coriander seeds, mustard seeds and chili flakes to each 500ml jar. I cut the rhubarb into batons a bit shorter than the height of the jars so I could pack them in vertically before pouring in the hot brine. When the jars cooled I put them in the fridge, and I think I'll wait a week before trying them. I'll let you know how it goes! I bet these would be great with a charcuterie/cheese platter.

If you're looking for other ways to use rhubarb, try adding to a salsa or making into a chutney. I found this recipe for rhubarb, fennel and celery salad by Ottolenghi that I'm going to try too. Maybe a good idea for Mother's Day brunch dish?


by Yotam Ottolenghi

Don’t dress the salad until just before you serve it, otherwise it will wilt and look unappetizing – if you’re taking it on a picnic, pack the dressing separately. It works as a refreshing starter or alongside some fish or meat. A few tablespoons of fresh pomegranate seeds (40g or so) makes a very tasty, not to mention pretty, addition on top. If possible, use a mandoline to cut the fennel, rhubarb and celery. Serves four.

3 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp maple syrup
Salt and black pepper
1 large fennel bulb, trimmed and shaved widthways into 2mm slices
1 stick rhubarb, trimmed and cut on an angle into 2mm slices
4 sticks celery, trimmed and cut on an angle into 2mm slices
20g basil leaves, roughly torn
15g tarragon leaves, roughly chopped
10g dill leaves, roughly chopped
2 tsp fennel seeds, toasted and roughly crushed

Put the oil, lemon and syrup in a large bowl with half a teaspoon of salt and plenty of pepper. Whisk and, just before serving, add the remaining ingredients and toss gently. Simple.

recipe from theguardian.com