When it comes to spring desserts, the Plated Test Kitchen can’t resist obsessing over rhubarb season. The tart vegetable (no, not a fruit!) with bright-red stalks is a member of the buckwheat family, and is most frequently used in sweet preparations like pies and crumbles. Fortunately for us, Plated chefs had an abundance rhubarb leftover after some recipe testing (one of the greatest problems we can imagine)—and they made good use of it, opening our minds to the ingredient’s versatility, from an eye-catching homemade soda to a sweet and savory salad. Head to the farmer’s market, pick up your rhubarb and start cooking!
Because of its tart flavor, rhubarb is often paired with sweet strawberries for balance; here, we swap in raspberries for an elegant twist. They’re tossed with lemon juice, cardamom, cinnamon, and sugar, then sprinkled with a buttery streusel topping and baked until golden brown and crunchy. It’s the perfect dessert to usher in spring produce.
Rhubarb simple syrup
We love having simple syrup on hand—it’s perfect for making homemade cocktails or sodas (see below) in a flash, and makes a wonderful hostess gift as well. This sweet and tangy syrup has a bright pink color that makes it feel extra special and festive.
1 pound rhubarb
1 cup sugar
Rinse rhubarb and thinly slice, discarding ends, then place in a large pot and cover with cold water by 1 inch. Bring to a simmer over medium heat and cook until rhubarb is pale and softened and water is pink and slightly opaque, 15–20 minutes. Then, strain rhubarb liquid, discarding rhubarb, and return liquid to pot. Stir in sugar to combine, then bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium and simmer, stirring frequently to prevent burning, until sugar is completely dissolved. Allow to cool completely. Store in an airtight container.
After making your own simple syrup, you can whip up homemade rhubarb soda ready in no time—all you need is sparkling water for bubbles, a squeeze of lime for extra tang, and basil for a savory note. Serve over ice in the cocktail glass of your choice, and toast to warm weather.
.5 cup rhubarb simple syrup
16 ounces sparkling water or club soda
1 sprig basil
Rinse basil and pick leaves, discarding stems. Cut lime into wedges. In a large bowl or pitcher, mix rhubarb simple syrup (it’s sweet, so feel free to use more or less depending on your preference), sparkling water, and whole basil leaves to combine. Divide between tumblers or wine glasses and serve over ice. Garnish with lime wedges. Cheers!
Strawberry-rhubarb salad with brie
You may think of rhubarb as an ingredient reserved for dessert, but we love the tangy-sweet balance it gives to savory dishes, like this salad. Roasting the ‘barb in a little honey helps it caramelize in the oven, making a perfect pairing for peppery arugula, creamy Brie cheese, and crunchy almonds. This is a salad with serious “wow” factor.
8 ounces arugula
.5 cup fresh strawberries
6 ounces rhubarb
2 ounces Brie cheese
3 tablespoons honey, divided
2 tablespoons sliced almonds
1 parchment paper
1. Prepare ingredients
Preheat oven to 425°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Rinse all produce. Pat arugula dry with paper towel. Thinly slice strawberries, discarding tops. Thinly slice rhubarb, discarding ends, then transfer to prepared baking sheet. Halve lemon. Thinly slice Brie and arrange in an even layer on a plate. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
2. Roast rhubarb
Toss rhubarb on baking sheet with 2 tablespoons honey, 1 tablespoon canola oil, and .25 teaspoon salt. Spread in a single layer, spacing apart, and roast until softened and slightly caramelized, about 10 minutes. Set aside to cool slightly, about 5 minutes.
3. Make dressing and prepare salad
While rhubarb roasts, in a large bowl, whisk together 1 squeeze lemon (save remainder for another use), remaining honey, 2 tablespoons olive oil, .25 teaspoon salt, and pepper as desired. Add strawberries and almonds and stir to coat. Add arugula, waiting to toss until rhubarb is roasted.
4. Finish and plate salad
Once cooled slightly, add rhubarb to bowl with arugula and toss to thoroughly coat. Divide strawberry-rhubarb salad between serving plates, then top with sliced Brie. Enjoy!
Take your cooking skills to the next level—order Plated!Get 25% off your first four weeks of Plated!