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Saturday, May 8, 2010

Rhubarb Time

It's been so busy for the last month that I've totally ignored this and Facebook and a lot of other fun things!  Last night we had one of our favorite salads.  Tomorrow, the MOPS crew is coming over for brunch to celebrate Mother's Day and the May birthdays.  (MOPS is the 1st initial of all the last names in the family.)  So, today we're heading to the farmer's market and the grocery store to finish buying the provisions for tomorrow.  One of our first stops will be the stand where they sell shagbark hickory syrup.  I remember reading about it in one of my cooking magazines - Gourmet or Bon Appetit or Saveur or another.  They said several famous chefs use the stuff and absolutely love it.  So, when I saw the stand, I couldn't resist.  At first I bought a very small bottle.  Last time, it was a much larger bottle.  Turns out you can use shagbark hickory syrup about any place you'd use maple syrup.  The taste is much subtler and oh, SO good.  I've created several recipes for the syrup but the salad we had last night is by far our favorite.  As soon as the rhubarb is ready to pick, this salad is on the table!

Rhubarb and Shagbark Hickory Salad
1 good-sized ruhbarb stalk per serving
1 t butter per serving
1 t shagbark hickory syrup per serving
handful of mild greens per serving (don't use arugula or anything like that)
1 T crumbled goat cheese per serving

Heat a small skillet.  While it's heating, chop the stalks in 1/4-1/2" pieces.  Toss them in the skillet when it's nice and hot.  Cook the ruhbarb (stirring occasionally) until the juices have caramelized and the pieces are sticking to the bottom of the pan.  The rhubarb will be very soft.  Add the butter and stir it in quickly.  Then, pour in the syrup and stir it in.  Have the greens ready to go on your salad plates.  Top the greens with the warm rhubarb then with the goat cheese.  Serve immediately.  The  goat cheese will get all melty and yummy with the warm rhubarb. 

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