Rhubarb Rhubarb Rhubarb!

This week’s boxes looked fairly similar to last week’s, except for the awesome additions of garlic scapes (the tops they snip off to help the bulbs grow), collard greens, and fresh basil.

In the last two weeks, we’ve gotten a few handfuls of rhubarb. My grandmother grew rhubarb and we planted some in our garden last year, but I’ve never quite tackled the problem of exactly what to do with rhubarb. Or collard greens, for that matter. So last night for dinner, we cooked up the collards first and then made a delicious strawberry rhubarb crumble for dessert.

But first, did you know that rhubarb is one of the earliest spring vegetables to be ready to eat? And that, although the leaves are toxic, the stems and roots have been eaten for thousands of years? Also, rhubarb stalks are pink, red, white and green, although red are the most commonly seen in grocery stores? Read more about rhubarb on wikipedia.

Here’s a very easy recipe I found for vegetarian collard greens. My housemate added bragg’s amino acids instead of salt, but between that and the miso, it was a tad on the too-salty side. But still, the collards were tender and flavorful.
Vegetarian Collard Greens

2 lbs collard greens
4-5 garlic cloves, minced
1 large onion, chopped
3 cups vegetable stock
1 teaspoon salt (to taste)
1 teaspoon smoked sweet paprika
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar

1. Wash greens well, submerging in a sink full of cold water to remove any dirt and grit. Drain well. Cut off the stems right where the leaf starts. Stack about 5-8 leaves on top of each other, then roll lengthwise. Cut rolled up leaves into 1″ slices width-wise. Repeat until all the greens are done, and add to a large pot.  (note: I’m not sure how this was actually done at my house, but the strips were WAY too long. I recommend cutting them in half widthwise before chopping them in this way)

2. Add all other ingredients. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer for 45 minutes or until greens are extremely tender. Serve hot, using a slotted spoon to drain the liquid from the greens.

And, finally, Rhubarb! I found this recipe online, and slightly modified it; my altered recipe is below. It’s so exciting that we also used strawberries out of our own garden.

Strawberry Rhubarb Crumble

For the topping:
1 1/3 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
3 tablespoons sugar
Zest of one lemon
1/2 pound (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted

For the filling:
1 1/2 cups rhubarb, chopped into 1-inch pieces
1 quart strawberries plus a few extras, hulled, quartered
Juice of one lemon
1/2 cup sugar
3 to 4 tablespoons cornstarch
Pinch of salt

1. Heat oven to 375°F. Prepare topping: In a mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder, sugars and lemon zest and add the melted butter. Mix until small and large clumps form. Refrigerate until needed.

2. Prepare filling: Toss rhubarb, strawberries, lemon juice, sugar, cornstarch and a pinch of salt in a 9-inch deep-dish pie plate.

3. Remove topping from refrigerator and cover fruit thickly and evenly with topping. Place pie plate on a (foil-lined, if you really want to think ahead) baking sheet, and bake until crumble topping is golden brown in places and fruit is bubbling beneath, about 40 to 50 minutes.

photo from smittenkitchen.com, visit their great site!

photo from smittenkitchen.com, visit their great site!

additional notes: Be prepared; the filling sticks to the pan. I’m not sure how to remedy this problem just yet, but it might include more butter. Also, I reduced the sugar from the original recipe because we wanted to retain the tartness of the rhubarb without being overly sweet.  Also, we live at 5,300 ft elevation, and I always adjust the oven temperature to -25 degrees from any baking recipe. I don’t make any other adjustments, and the temp shift seems to work great.

Today, we’re attempting to make lemon rhubarb ginger jam. I’ll let you all know how it went.

Enjoy your farm fresh veggies!

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2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by EarthFreak on June 24, 2009 at 4:31 pm

    I’ve been peeling my rhubarb gently, and the peels have been coming off in cute little curly spirals. Of course, they’re all different colors, many with lovely stripes. Tonight, I’m planning on trying to candy them like you would with citrus peels. I’ll totally take a picture and link it on here once I finish them. =D

    Reply

  2. […] greens is a new experience for me, but thus far we’ve been preparing them according to this method. Today we decided to try making a lasagne with fresh collard greens and other veggies found in our […]

    Reply

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