Rhubarb & Citrus Mocktail

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The weather has been crazy lately. Friends were visiting from abroad and I had already told them how temperamental the weather can be here, so they came prepared. On Thursday and Friday, we had summer-like temperatures, and on Saturday and Sunday it was felt more like winter. Funny to see the pictures we took, because you would think they are from two different visits by the change of clothing. It was so nice to show them around Amsterdam and this trip ended up being extra special for them since they got engaged.

Going back to this recipe, this is a very refreshing drink. And of course you can add some liquor if you want, but it doesn’t need it. You’ll have enough rhubarb simple syrup to make about 3 batches.

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This recipe makes about 1.5 liters.

Ingredients:

For the rhubarb simple syrup:

3 large rhubarb stalks, roughly chopped

1 cup of sugar

1 ½ cups of boiling water

For the mocktail:

Juice of 4 oranges

Juice of 3 ruby red grapefruit

¼ cup of the rhubarb simple syrup, cold

Bunch of mint

750ml of sparkling water, cold

15 ice cubes

Edible flowers (optional)

 

Start by making the rhubarb simple syrup. Place the rhubarb, boiling water and sugar in a saucepan over medium heat. Let it cook for about 25 minutes until the rhubarb is very soft and the liquid is syrupy. Then strain the syrup using a fine mesh sieve. Allow it to cool down.

Once the rhubarb simple syrup has cooled down, start juicing the citrus. Pour the grapefruit and orange juice into a pitcher. Add ¼ cup of the simple syrup, mint, sparkling water and ice. Stir. Top each glass with some edible flowers if you want.

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Brownie Cookies with Rhubarb & Vanilla Bean

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A friend of mine brought me a chocolate bar for cooking from her trip to France and the first thing that came to my mind were these cookies. They are soft and fudgy on the inside. Rich but not overly sweet, and the tartness of the rhubarb still comes through.

This recipe makes about 30 cookies.

Ingredients:

For the cookies:

100grs of dark chocolate, chopped

113grs of butter

1 ½ cups of all-purpose flour

2 eggs

1 egg yolk

¾ of a cup of brown sugar, packed

½ cup of sugar

1 teaspoon of vanilla essence

2 teaspoons of cornstarch

1 teaspoon of baking soda

Pinch of salt

¼ cup of cocoa powder

For the rhubarb:

2 rhubarb stalks

1 tablespoon of butter

1 vanilla bean or 1 tablespoon of vanilla essence

1 tablespoon of sugar

 

To make the cookies, place the butter and chopped dark chocolate in a small bowl. Melt it in the microwave for 30 second intervals, stirring in between until the chocolate has melted completely. Then allow it to cool down.

Mix the flour, baking soda, cornstarch, salt and cocoa powder in another bowl.

In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs, egg yolk, sugars and vanilla. Then slowly whisk in the cooled melted chocolate.

Then add the flour mixture to the chocolate mixture in batches. Mix until everything is combined.

Then allow the dough to chill in the fridge for 2 hours.

In the meanwhile, start preparing the rhubarb. Slice the stalks in two lengthwise. Then finely slice them.

Place the butter with the sugar in a pan over medium heat. Once the butter has melted, add the rhubarb and vanilla and cook for 1 minute while stirring. Then transfer the rhubarb to a fine mesh sieve with a bowl underneath to catch all the liquid. Let it sit there until the chilling time for the cookie dough is up.

Once the cookie dough has chilled, preheat your oven to 180C/350F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Discard the juice from the rhubarb and place the rhubarb in a small bowl.

Take the cookie dough out of the fridge and grab about 2 tablespoons of cookie dough and roll it into a ball using your hands. Place it on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat for the rest, leaving some space in between each ball. Place about 1 teaspoon of the rhubarb on top of each ball and press with your fingers so it sticks. Bake the cookies for 10 minutes. While a batch is baking, keep the remaining cookie dough in the fridge.

Let the cookies rest in the baking sheet for 10 minutes before transferring them to a cooling rack.

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Fried Avocado Tacos with Strawberry & Rhubarb Salsa

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I saw rhubarb at the market a few of weeks ago and this recipe popped into my head. Then when I decided to make it, I went to the only stand where I had seen it and of course they didn’t have it anymore. So I kept coming back to check until this past Saturday when they had it again. Kid in a candy store kind of excitement on my end. I am thrilled about spring produce since with it comes new dishes and hope for better weather. And with hope, I really mean it since you never know if it’s going to be a warm or not. But seeing more produce at the market makes me happy and I am also looking forward to seeing more variety of flowers. We bought a rhubarb plant about a week ago at a farmer’s market and we are hoping that it will grow nicely so we can eat it later. Both my hubby and I love plants and with our new apartment with a garden being delivered this summer, we already ordered online plenty of seeds to plant.

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Going back to the tacos, the avocado fries are very crunchy because of the panko coating. I added some honey to the salsa to balance out the sourness of the rhubarb.

This recipe is for 12 small tacos.

Ingredients:

12 small tortillas

About 1 cup of vegetable oil for pan-frying the avocado

For the fried avocados:

2 avocados, halved, pitted and sliced lengthwise (I made them not too thick)

3 eggs, beaten

2 cups of flour

3 cups of panko

Salt

Garlic powder

Onion powder

For the salsa:

1 rhubarb stalk, sliced lengthwise in 2 and then finely sliced

1 red onion, finely chopped

5 large strawberries, hulled

5 tablespoons of chopped coriander

2 ½ tablespoons of olive oil

1 ½ tablespoons of honey

1 ½ tablespoons of apple cider vinegar

Salt

Pepper

 

Sliced the rhubarb in two lengthwise and then finely slice it. Place it in a saucepan with boiling water over medium heat. Let it cook for only 1 minute (if you leave it too long it will become mush). Then drain it and chop it the same size as the onion.

In a large bowl, mix the onion, strawberries and rhubarb.

In a small container with a lid, mix the olive oil, apple cider vinegar, honey, some salt and pepper. Put the lid on and shake it to emulsify the dressing for the salsa. Then add it to the mix of the onion, strawberry and rhubarb. Add the chopped coriander. Adjust the salt and pepper to your liking. Set it aside until ready to use.

To make the avocado fries, first add some seasoning to the coating. Place the beaten eggs, flour and panko in separate bowls. Add some salt, garlic and onion powder to each bowl and mix well.

Then coat each avocado slice in the flour, then the eggs and finally the panko. Once all the avocado slices are well coated, pour the vegetable oil into a large pan over medium heat. Have a large plate lined with paper towels ready. Fry the avocado slices in batches until golden on both sizes. Place them in the prepared plate to soak up the excess oil. Season them with some extra salt if desired.

Once the avocados fries are done, warm up the tortillas in a pan. Place a few avocado fries on each tortilla and top with the salsa. Enjoy!

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Green Spring Salad with Salmon and a Rhubarb-Miso dressing

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Time for a super healthy recipe again. I love a good hearty salad for dinner. A few weeks ago, I got some rhubarb for the first time this year, I used part of it to make my Rhubarb, goat cheese & thyme tart and I saved 2 stalks to make the dressing for this salad. I wanted to make a rhubarb dressing but had no plans to add miso to it. But when I made the dressing it was missing something. I checked what I had in the house and decided to add some miso to it, since I love the combination of miso and salmon. And miso turned out to be what was missing in the dressing. I really liked the end result. And because it is spring, it’s nice to add a pop of color to a salad with some edible flowers.

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This recipe serves 3.

Ingredients:

For the Salad:

½ cup of amaranth

2 avocados, thinly sliced

300gr Salmon fillet, without the skin

1 bunch of asparagus

1 cup of edamame

3 handfuls of lamb’s lettuce (called here veldsla)

3 poached eggs

Lemon pepper

Salt

Olive oil

For the dressing:

2 rhubarb stalks, sliced & then boiled for 5 minutes

½ cup of apple cider vinegar

½ cup of extra virgin olive oil

4 tablespoons of agave syrup or honey

2 teaspoons of Miso paste, I used red miso

Salt to taste

For decoration:

Pansies

Micro watercress

 

First cook the amaranth, boil it for 15 minutes and then drain it with a very fine mesh strainer. Set aside

To make the dressing, boil the sliced rhubarb for 5 minutes. Drain it, and then blend it with the rest of the ingredients except for the salt. The miso paste is already quite salty so taste first. Set aside.

Cook the edamame as instructed on the package. I get mine frozen and still in the pod, and I just put it in the microwave for 2 to 3 minutes.

To prepare the asparagus, I prefer to buy the small, thin ones because they don’t need any preparation except for washing them and they cook faster. If you get the big asparagus, just snap off the woody ends.  Over medium-high heat, add a bit of olive oil to a pan. Add the asparagus, salt and lemon pepper. Sauté the asparagus for a couple of minutes until they are crisp and tender. Set aside

To prepare the salmon, slice the fillet into 9 pieces. Season them with lemon pepper and salt. Over medium heat, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil to a pan. Add the salmon and pan-fry it for about 2 minutes on each side.  Set aside.

To poach the eggs, fill a pot with boiling water. Add a pinch of salt and a splash of white vinegar, and bring it to a boil. I like to poach one egg at a time.  Crack an egg into a glass or cup. Use a spoon or spatula to stir the boiling water into one direction to form a whirlpool. Carefully drop the egg in the middle of the whirlpool. Let it poach for 3 minutes and then remove it with a slotted spoon. Set aside and repeat for the remaining eggs.

To plate the salad, first arrange some of the avocado slices, lamb’s lettuce and edamame on each plate, then add some of the asparagus and sprinkle some of the amaranth. Then place 3 pieces of salmon in the middle and place the poached egg on top. Finish off with some micro watercress and flowers. I like to serve the dressing on the side.

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Rhubarb, Goat Cheese & Thyme Tart

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Rhubarb season has started and I couldn’t be more excited. I had something savory in mind and couldn’t wait to get my hands on some stalks. I was looking for it in my market a couple of weeks ago and couldn’t find any. I finally found it a week ago in one stand at the Albert Cuyp market and just had to get it

I wanted to top a tart with it and get that nice pink color all over it. But I wanted it thinly sliced, which means I lose the color as it is only on the outer part. Therefore I decided to dye the rhubarb slices. I’ve seen that you can color it with grenadine syrup. I actually wanted to try and color it with beet juice but I forgot to get some, so I ended up just using red food coloring which I had in the house. I added some Greek yogurt to the filling instead of adding cream just to lighten it up a bit. The pastry dough is very simple to make from scratch.  My hubby and I finished the whole tart for dinner with a side of green salad.

This recipe makes a tart for a 9 inch – 23cm pie mold.

Ingredients:

For the pastry:

1 1/3 cups of all-purpose flour

100gr of butter, cold

¼ cup cold water

Pinch of salt

For the filling:

1 cup of Greek yogurt

200gr soft goat cheese, crumbled

5 sprigs of thyme, leaves only

2 eggs

1 tablespoon of maple syrup

Pinch of salt

Pinch of pepper

For the Rhubarb:

2 rhubarb stalks, thinly sliced with a potato peeler or cheese slicer

For the coloring bath:

2 cups of water

2 cups of sugar

30 drops of red food coloring (just to color the rhubarb, then you’ll throw it away)

 

Start by making the pastry; place the butter, flour and salt in the food processor. Pulse until the dough resembles breadcrumbs, then add the water and pulse until you get an even dough. Form a ball with the dough, wrap it in plastic and let it sit in the fridge for 30 minutes.

While the dough is resting in the fridge, start to prepare the rhubarb. Cut each stalk into 3 even pieces, and then thinly slice each piece using a potato peeler, cheese slicer or mandolin.

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To prepare the simple syrup, just mix the water with the sugar in a pot over medium heat. Stir until the sugar has dissolved. Transfer to a bowl and allow it to cool for 5 minutes, so it is not super-hot. Then add the food coloring and mix it well. Add the rhubarb slices and let them soak in the coloring bath, once it is cool enough; just put it in the fridge until ready to use.

Once the dough has rested in the fridge, preheat the oven to 180C/350F. Grease and flour a 9 inch – 23cm pie mold. It is better if it has a detachable bottom, just makes it easier to slice the tart later.

Lightly flour your working area and roll out the dough in a circular shape, enough to cover the pie mold. Line the pie mold with the dough, pressing firmly on the edges. Put it in the fridge for 15 minutes.

Take the pie out of the fridge, line it with parchment paper and fill it with uncooked rice or pastry weights. Bake for 10 minutes. Then remove the rice and parchment paper, and bake for 5 more minutes.

For the filling, just blend all of the ingredients until evenly combined. Pour it over the pastry.

Drain the dyed rhubarb and then carefully arrange it in a circular motion on top of the filling. Bake the tart for 30 minutes.

Allow the tart to cool for 15 minutes before slicing it.

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