Fresh Rhubarb Recipes

Stephanie Izard of Chicago's Girl and the Goat restaurant shares how to make tangy quick-pickled rhubarb for salad, a delicious strawberry-rhubarb sauce for grilled salmon, and a refreshing rhubarb sorbet cocktail.

Catie Bielecki

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Seasonal Rhubarb Recipes
Seasonal Rhubarb Recipes

    In May, thousands of grilling enthusiasts gathered in Chicago's Lincoln Park for two days of grilling demonstrations, tastings, and more at the first-ever Better Homes and Gardens and Weber Chill and Grill Festival.

    Restaurateur and Top Chef alum Stephanie Izard showed off three fresh recipes made of rhubarb, one of her springtime favorites. "My goal is to make your whole mouth happy," she says.

Step 1: Slice rhubarb

    Quick-pickled rhubarb adds bright flavor to a simple salad. When it comes to the differences in rhubarb color and flavor, "Bright pink is prettier, but the flavor is the same," Stephanie says.

Makes: 6 servings
Step 2: Create pickling liquid

    In a saucepan combine sugar and white or champagne vinegar. "A little acid brings out the flavor in the rhubarb," Stephanie says.

Makes: 6 servings
Step 3: Add pink peppercorns

    Pink peppercorns lend a floral note to the pickling liquid.

Makes: 6 servings
Step 4: Pour over rhubarb

    Bring the pickling mixture to a boil, and then pour the hot liquid over the sliced rhubarb. As the liquid cools to room temperature, the rhubarb will become slightly tender. Strain the liquid from the rhubarb, reserving both.

Makes: 6 servings
Step 5: Build the salad

    For a flavorful summer salad, use baby arugula, which has a bit of a peppery bite.

Makes: 6 servings
Step 6: Add asparagus

    Stephanie shaves raw asparagus to lend even more freshness to the salad. One way to boost the flavor is to grill the asparagus first. Place the spears horizontally across hot, oiled grill grates and grill until tender, 5 to 7 minutes, turning once or twice. "Fatter asparagus is a little bit sweeter," Stephanie says.

Makes: 6 servings
Step 7: Top the salad

    Add creamy goat cheese crumbles and the quick-pickled rhubarb to the arugula and asparagus.

Makes: 6 servings
Step 8: Finish the salad

    Sprinkle in crunchy sliced almonds. Toss the salad with a quick, flavorful dressing. Whisk together 1 cup of olive oil and 2 tablespoons of the reserved pickling liquid to pull out even more rhubarb flavor.

Makes: 6 servings
Step 9: Rhubarb sauce

    Strawberries and rhubarb make a blissful match. Stephanie highlights the combination in her Strawberry Rhubarb Agrodolce sauce, which is tasty over grilled sockeye salmon.

Serving size: 1 pint (2 cups)
Step 10: Prep the salmon

    Trim off some of the belly and remove the skin. Slide the knife between the flesh and the skin, and slowly glide the knife along the length of the fish to separate the skin from the meat before grilling (skip this step if you prefer to grill your salmon with the skin on).

Serving size: 1 pint (2 cups)
Step 11: Grill the salmon

    Cut the salmon into individual portions, and then season with olive oil, pepper, and salt. "I use Morton's kosher salt," Stephanie says. "It's easier to season with something you're used to." Heat the grill to 500 degrees F, and then add the salmon. Close the grill when cooking the salmon so the heat stays in.

Serving size: 1 pint (2 cups)
Step 12: Sour and sweet

    Agrodolce means sour and sweet in Italian; the sauce is made with several contrasting ingredients: vinegar, sugar, soy sauce, and fruit.

Serving size: 1 pint (2 cups)
Step 13: Start the sauce

    In a medium saucepan combine sliced strawberries, rhubarb, sherry vinegar, sugar, soy sauce, and rosemary.

Serving size: 1 pint (2 cups)
Step 14: Add olives

    Stir your favorite olives into the agrodolce mixture. Stephanie says black olives, such as Kalamata olives, work best because they add a bold, salty bite.

Serving size: 1 pint (2 cups)
Step 15: Cook the sauce

    Cook the mixture until it begins to break down and reduces by half, then let it cool to room temperature. Top the grilled salmon with the agrodolce sauce.

Serving size: 1 pint (2 cups)
Step 16: Easy rhubarb cocktail

    Finish your rhubarb-theme meal with a fizzy summer drink. Top rhubarb sorbet with a drizzle of lime simple syrup and a splash of bourbon, and then finish with ginger beer.


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