IMG_1731Remember all that garden talk last week?  Mother Nature sure has been working overtime and now there are actual things that we can pull out of the ground and eat.  I’ve never actually prepared rhubarb before, so the burgeoning leaves signaled a challenge for me:  what to do with these strange, red shoots?

As usual, I took my inquiries over to Tastespotting.  If you haven’t used it, you should.  Just enter an ingredient or a recipe and gorgeous pictures and delicious recipes populate the screen.  A search for “rhubarb” didn’t disappoint.

rhubarb01wmFrom left to right, I made lemon-infused rhubarb syrup, started the clock on a batch of rhubarb liqueur (that ain’t water, it’s vodka!), and an orange zest rhubarb compote.

The syrup and compote recipes were derived from the instructions here, and the simple (yet totally in another language) directions for the liqueur can be found here (there’s a bit of English at the bottom).  As I am wont to do I totally screwed around with what actually went in to each one, because let’s face it:  recipes, assembly instructions, authority figures, et. al. are totally boring.

The syrup is going to make its way in to something yummy tonight, relaxing with the peepers and the fireflies on the back porch.

rhubarb05wmWhat’s your favorite rhubarb recipe?  Seriously, tell me!  Because there’s a monster in the backyard and it needs to be eaten!

din din

IMG_1556Last night, I declared we’d be having something new for dinner tonight.  A long winter of freezing temps and snow right up to the windowsill often creates a pattern of hearty monotony in the kitchen:  thick chilli, pureed winter vegetable soup and pasta (obviously) in heavy rotation.

I went over to Tastespotting (favorite) and found this recipe for flatbreads with a built-in salad.  As I am wont to do I didn’t actually follow the recipe or get all the ingredients it called for, obstinate cooks unite!

Here’s what I did:

Preheat oven to 425°.  Put two na’ans on a big cookie sheet.  Generous handfuls of asiago cheese (if you like cheese, it’s about 1/4 cup, but if you’re cool it’s probably more like 3/4 cup).  Shaved prosciutto on top, thick (about 1/4 inch) slices of pear on that.  Drizzle raspberry habañero jam (mixed with water, for consistency) on top.  10 minutes in the oven, until edges are blackened (yum, char!)  2 cups (ish) of arugula on top, plus some black pepper.


Na’an•Asiago•Prosciutto•Pear•Raspberry Habañero Sauce•Arugula•Black Pepper