Rhubarb Strawberry Curd

Rhubarb Strawberry Curd // Big Eats Tiny Kitchen

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I still remember the first time that I tried rhubarb.  It was probably 10 years ago. I had wanted to try it, but just hadn’t had the chance (I guess) living in suburbia Oklahoma and just didn’t have the inclination to go hunt for it.

But one summer night, I was out working a 12 hour shift doing field work for my Master’s degree and my husband was babysitting my littlest sister who was only 6 at the time. Since they are both the adventurous type, and neither of them really knew how to cook…. they decided to make me a rhubarb cobbler as a surprise treat for when I got home.

I was so surprised when I walked in the door and smelled that amazing smell. It was seriously the best cobbler I had ever eaten. (Maybe it was because I had just worked 12 long hours in the hot summer sun.) But it really was the perfect blend of tartness and sweetness. Just like my husband and my sister Olivia. Sweet and tart! 🙂  They began my obsession with this fabulous spring plant…ooooh rhubarb!

Rhubarb Strawberry Curd // Big Eats Tiny Kitchen

Rhubarb Strawberry Curd // Big Eats Tiny Kitchen

Since that first magical cobbler that they made for me ten years ago, I have had quite a love affair with rhubarb. Rhubarb is a perennial that will come back year after year when planted in a good location. My rhubarb plant always lets me know when spring is near, because it begins to sprout its long stalks and leaves when temps rise above 40 F.

Rhubarb can be used in so many recipes: tarts, cobblers, pies, salsa, sauces, and this amazing curd! Yeaaaaaaaaah. Curd doesn’t have to be reserved for citrus! This Rhubarb Strawberry Curd is hands down my favorite. I decided to add some frozen strawberries that I had in order to boost the pink color of the curd.  Feel free to adjust the ratio of rhubarb to strawberries to suit your own tastes.

Rhubarb Strawberry Curd // Big Eats Tiny Kitchen

This Rhubarb Strawberry Curd can easily be used to fill a pie or tart crust for an easy dessert. The extra egg whites can be whipped up as a meringue for the top too! I went the easy route this time and I mixed mine in greek yogurt for a delicious breakfast and midday snack! Either way, I know that this will be a favorite for all you rhubarb lovers!

Rhubarb Strawberry Curd // Big Eats Tiny Kitchen

Rhubarb Strawberry Curd

  • Servings: 2 cups
  • Time: 30 minutes
  • Difficulty: Easy/Moderate
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Ingredients

  • 2 cups fresh rhubarb, sliced 1/2-inch thick (about 5 trimmed stalks)
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen strawberries
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 4 eggs, yolks separated (reserve whites for another use)
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter

Instructions

  1. In a heavy saucepan placed over medium heat, cook rhubarb, strawberries, water, and 3 tablespoons of honey for about 10 minutes, stirring frequently and smashing the fruit with the back of spoon. Mixture will begin to fall apart and look mushy. Turn off heat and allow to cool for about 5 minutes.
  2. Transfer mixture to the bowl of a food processor and puree smooth. Set aside.
  3. In a separate medium bowl, cream the butter and the honey together until fluffy.  Beat in the eggs slowly. Slowly add the rhubarb and strawberry mixture, whisking constantly until completely combined.
  4. Transfer mixture to a medium-sized, non-reactive saucepan. Place over medium-low heat and stir constantly with either a rubber spatula or wooden spoon until the mixture has thickened to jelly consistency, about 10-12 minutes.  Do not let the curd boil! Pull the pan off the stove before it gets to that stage. The curd is done when it coats the back of a spatula or leaves a clear path when pulled through the mixture.
  5. Remove from heat allow to cool for about 5 minutes. Pour curd mixture into a clean glass jar, but let it cool completely before you screw on the lid. You can even place the filled jar in the freezer (without the lid) for about 15 minutes and then remove from freezer and place the lid on the jar. Keep refrigerated until ready to use.

Note – Recipe adapted from Dolly and Oatmeal.

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A Tale of Two Salsas: Basic Salsa and Rhubarb Salsa

Oh salsa…so quick. So easy. It makes the best of times. (too cliche?)

With just a few ingredients, you can make dip-heaven. Salsa can take any dish up a notch or three.  Tomatoes are just a starting point for basic salsa. Later in this post, I’ll let you in on some secrets on how to use seasonal produce to make different types of salsa.  Basically, I’m going to change your life.

Yes, it is true.  I love to dip things. I often choose a meal based on its “dipability”.  Don’t judge! It’s one of my oddities….Ok many oddities, but people…it’s a party at every meal!!! And having a great basic salsa recipe is key for anyone to have tucked up their sleeve to pull out for impromptu events.

Because this was my week to host for the Food Matters Project and because of my love for all things dip-able, I chose the easy fresh salsa recipe from Mark Bittman’s the Food Matters Cookbook.  Paaaahrtay!  If you have never made fresh salsa, you are doing it today (or as soon as you can). Ya, I know you may have other crap planned, but guess what….salsa calls….”make me”.  And it’s easy. Dip it or throw it on tacos, or a salad, or on a spoon. Fresh salsa is perfect party food (for my solo party) or perfect to bring along for such occasions as Cinco de Mayo or you can bring it to my house for me to dip!

Garden tomatoes make the best salsa. But even when tomatoes are out of season, you can use canned tomatoes, which is what I did. Mark Bittman’s basic salsa is technically pico de gallo.  I chose to puree the salsa since I used canned tomatoes and because I like the smooth consistency. However, you can leave it chunky, if you prefer.

So let’s break it down. Really there are a few base ingredients that go into making salsa.

Onions + jalapeño + cilantro + lime juice (or any acidic juice really…vinegar works well too).

From this basic formula, you can add several ingredients to make fresh salsa.  Tomatoes are the basic salsa, of course. It will keep for up to a week in the fridge. But I doubt it will even linger that long. I used this salsa on top of eggs, on top of a spinach mushroom quesadilla (so dippable), and with homemade tortilla chips.

But, if you are feeling adventurous, there are other ingredients that you can add to salsa besides tomatoes….. such as seasonal fruit, black beans, or corn.

With spring in full force, RHUBARB has finally flooded the farmers market!!!!  To take full advantage of rhubarb at its peak, I decided to also try to make a rhubarb salsa.  I know, I know, I know…what about rhubarb pie, rhubarb tart?  Just trust me and branch out from the sweet desserts. Rhubarb salsa beckons you. I was so impressed with the outcome. Using the basic salsa recipe as a starting point, I replaced the tomatoes with rhubarb and sweet bell pepper, and then added a tad bit of honey mixed with apple cider vinegar and lime juice. The tartness in the rhubarb salsa is balanced by the sweet honey and complimented by the spicy kick from the jalapeño.

I ate this on fish tacos (so devine and sorry no pictures….they disappeared in my mouth). I also topped my fresh spring salad with it. Heavenly.

In summer, swap out tomatoes for peaches or mangos. In the fall, use granny smith or any other tart variety of apples. You can also swap orange or lemon juice for the lime juice.  Seriously, the options are endless when making salsa. After you make these salsa recipes, you are going to be in deep smit with them. You are welcome.

Don’t forget to check out the other FMP bloggers creations!

Basic Salsa (from the Food Matters Cookbook by Mark Bittman)

  • 1 1/2 cups of tomatoes (or 1 15 oz canned tomatoes, undrained)
  • 1/2 white or red onion
  • 1 jalapeño, seeds removed and diced
  • 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup of cilantro, diced
  • 2 tablespoons of lime juice
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • salt and pepper to taste
Instructions for Basic Salsa
  1. Combine all ingredients in a food processor. Puree until well combined.
  2. Taste and add salt/pepper. Chill covered for at least 30 minutes.
Rhubarb Salsa 
  • 1 stalk of rhubarb (1 to 1 1/2 cups), diced
  • 1/4 cup of sweet bell pepper, diced
  • 2 tablespoons of diced white or red onion
  • 2 tablespoons of diced scallions
  • 1 jalapeño, seeds removed and diced
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons of cilantro, diced
  • 1 tablespoon of lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons of honey
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • pepper to taste
Instructions for Rhubarb Salsa
  1. Heat 2 cups of water in a saucepan to boiling. Blanch rhubarb by placing in the boiling water for 10 to 20 seconds. Quickly remove the rhubarb and place in a colander. Run cold water over the rhubarb to stop the cooking process. Blot the rhubarb with a paper towel to dry.
  2. In a separate bowl, combine the bell pepper, onion, scallions, jalapeño, and cilantro. Add rhubarb and mix ingredients.
  3. In a small separate bowl, dissolve the honey in the lime juice and apple cider vinegar. Drizzle this dressing over the rhubarb salsa and stir. Add the salt and pepper. Mix well.
  4. Chill for at least 30 minutes.

Braised Chicken in Sweet and Sour Rhubarb Sauce

If you have only had rhubarb in pies and cobblers, you should branch out and try adding it to the main course.  Today’s recipe was chosen by Culinary Adentures with Camilla for week 10 of the Food Matters Project. The original recipe is Braised Fish in Rhubarb Sauce from Mark Bittman’s Food Matters Cookbook, where white fish is cooked in a carmely/lime/rhubarb sauce. Instead of fish, I decided to use this recipe to make a natural sweet and sour chicken dish using rhubarb as the sour and honey as the sweet. Unfortunately, rhubarb has not quite hit the markets yet, but luckily I had some frozen and tucked away from my rhubarb crop last year.

While most rhubarb you see in the grocery stores and markets are a beautiful red, I unknowingly bought a green and a red variety of rhubarb to plant in my garden.  Rhubarb, like asparagus, is a  perennial plant, coming back year after year to give you great tart goodness.  The stalk of the rhubarb plant is edible, while the leaf is poisonous.  Because rhubarb plants love sun, be sure to plant them in a good sunny well drained area that will not be disturbed.  You will not be dissappointed. You can freeze the rhubarb by cutting the stalk into 1/2 to 1-inch pieces and freezing them in a single layer on a cookie sheet. Once they are frozen, place them in a ziploc bag for future use.  In today’s recipe, I used frozen green rhubarb from last years crop.

Because of rhubarb’s pucker power, it needs to be balanced with some sweetness….honey.   I also added the juice of two oranges to balance out the sauce.  The result…awesome and healthy! I loved that it was not loaded down with artificial flavors and processed sugar.  It was fresh and healthy. However, as far as looks go….it would never win a beauty contest. My rhubarb is green….so the sauce looked a bit like green mash.  I only added 2 tablespoons of honey, which was enough for me…..but I think my husband would have preferred it to be more on the sweet side and less on the sour side. But that’s why he has me…I’m sweet enough for everything. (BAH!)

So even if your guests or kids sneer their nose at the site of the slime chicken you are serving (I know I’m selling this dish to you guys, no wonder I’m an engineer and not a salesman), once they taste it…seriously….they will be suprised.

You can use rhubarb in recipes that you would likely also use pineapple. This sauce would be great on pork too.

Check out what the recipes that the FMP food bloggers came up with here. Happy Monday!

Braised Chicken in Sweet and Sour Rhubarb Sauce (adapted from Mark Bittman’s Food Matters Cookbook)

Serves 4

Prep/Cook Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of diced rhubarb (frozen or fresh)
  • juice of 2 oranges (1/2 to 3/4 cup)
  • 2 tablespoons of honey (or more depending on level of sweetness you prefer)
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of fine ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon of ground ginger
  • 1 tablespoon of coconut oil (or grapeseed oil)
  • 1 medium onion, chopped in 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 lb of chicken breasts, cut in 1-inch pieces
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • chopped cilantro

Instructions

  1. Place rhubarb, juice of oranges, and honey in a small saucepan and heat over medium-low heat. Stir often and cook for 5 to 10 minutes (do not scorch) or until rhubarb appears mushy and pureed. Stir in ginger and pepper. Remove from heat.
  2. Meanwhile in a medium skillet, heat coconut oil over medium heat. Add onions once coconut oil is completely melted. Saute onions for 5 minutes, or until slightly brown and transluscent. Add chicken and cook until browned on all sides.
  3. Add rhubarb sauce, lower heat to low, and simmer chicken and rhubarb sauce for a 5 minutes, stirring often. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve topped with cilantro.