Tuesday, June 3, 2008

In Season: Rhubarb

At Cocoa & Fig we think it's important to use seasonal foods. This way, you get maximum flavor from every ingredient. And we think it's fun to see what's growing in the back yard. We're starting our "In Season" postings to give you an insight into what we're cooking with in our kitchen!

Rhubarb is one of those foods.... you either love it or hate it. After living in many other parts of the country, I can say that true Minnesotans love their rhubarb. It's one of the first signs of Spring. Large rhubarb plants that have laid dormant throughout the winter begin to sprout again showing their brilliant red colored stalks for all to see. We have three giant Canadian Red rhubarb plants in our yard and each Spring I eagerly await their arrival.

It is best to harvest rhubarb right before using it. Choose long, firm stalks that are brightly colored. Only remove the leaves and keep well chilled until ready to use.

Rhubarb is very tart on its own, so combining it with fruit is common in many recipes. Strawberries are a natural selection. Currently we have two rhubarb items on our menu.

Strawberry Rhubarb Muffins

Strawberry-Rhubarb Galette

If you've never cooked with rhubarb you should try it this season. You can find rhubarb in just about every garden in Minnesota... like I said Minnesotans love their rhubarb!

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