Chicago chefs share rhubarb recipes
At last, there is local rhubarb! And with two very different recipes, you have no excuse not to be eating
it for breakfast, lunch, dinner and dessert.
Jeff Pikus of Maude’s Liquor Bar (840 W Randolph St, 312-243-9712) creates the yin to Rice’s sweet-and-simple yang by pickling rhubarb for a salad, then using the leftover pickling liquid to make a surprisingly easy rhubarb mustard for a cheese plate.
Triple-crème cow’s milk cheese with rhubarb mustard, shaved spring vegetables and pickled rhubarb
1 cinnamon stick
6 white peppercorns
1 cup water
1 cup Tawny port
1 cup dry red wine
1 cup red wine vinegar
1 cup + 2 tsp sugar
1 tbsp salt
¾ cup ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
2 stalks rhubarb, thinly sliced
2 tbsp shallots, minced (about one small shallot)
2 ½ tbsp Champagne vinegar
1 tbsp lemon juice
¼ cup + 2 tbsp grapeseed oil
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
¾ tsp pectin
1 tbsp sugar
1 cup reserved rhubarb-pickling liquid, at room temperature
2 stalks rhubarb, peeled and coarsely chopped
2 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tbsp + 2 tsp whole-grain mustard
2 stalks green asparagus, ends trimmed
1 fennel bulb, root end trimmed
1 baby carrot, peeled
1 red beet, peeled
1 golden beet, peeled
1 artichoke, outer leaves and choke removed, trimmed
4 breakfast radishes, greens trimmed
Whole leaves from a sprig each of parsley, chervil and tarragon, plus a few chives
Salt and pepper to taste
4 oz Lincet Delice de Bourgogne triple crème cow’s-milk cheese (available at Pastoral for $18.99/lb)
1. At least one day before you want to serve the salad, pickle the rhubarb: Toast the spices over medium-low heat in a dry, medium-size pot until fragrant, about two minutes. Add all other ingredients except rhubarb, and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and allow the mixture to cool to room temperature. Add the rhubarb slices, and refrigerate overnight or for up to a week. Strain, discarding ginger and spices from the rhubarb and reserving 1½ cups of the liquid.
2. Make the Champagne vinaigrette: Rinse the minced shallots under cold water for 15 minutes. Allow the shallots to steep in the vinegar for two hours or overnight. Whisk in remaining ingredients.
3. Make the rhubarb mustard: Combine the pectin and sugar in a bowl, and whisk to mix well. Add the pectin mixture to 1 cup of the reserved pickling liquid in a small saucepat, and whisk vigorously to combine. Bring the liquid to a full boil to dissolve the pectin, whisking constantly. Add the rhubarb, and braise over low heat until very soft and the mixture has thickened, about 20 minutes. Allow the mixture to cool to room temperature. Stir in the mustards. The mixture should be thick and chunky.
4. Prepare the shaved vegetables: Using a sharp knife or a mandoline, slice the vegetables as thinly as possible, and plunge into abundant ice water for five minutes. Drain and dry the vegetables thoroughly.
5. Assemble the dish: Allow the wedge of cheese to come to room temperature. Dress the shaved vegetable salad with the vinaigrette, seasoning with salt and black pepper. Add the pickled rhubarb and herbs, and toss to combine. Adjust seasoning with a small amount of the rhubarb pickling liquid to add sharpness. Serve on a large platter alongside the cheese with the rhubarb mustard and warm toasted baguette.
Serves four as an appetizer.