Rhubarb is often dubbed the “pie plant,” and the stalks, soft and delectable when baked, do make a divine pie filling. But pie is by no means the only way to experience rhubarb. This tart vegetable is as delicious in a savory dish as it is in a sweet one.
In Season: Rhubarb can be found from late winter to early spring with a peak season from April to June.
What to Look For: Thin, red, crisp stalks have the best texture. If stalks are floppy, it indicates they were picked too long ago.
How to Store: Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for up to 1 week.
Rhubarb Meringue Pie
Yield Makes one 9-inch pie
- 1 disk Pate Sucree for Rhubarb Meringue Pie
- All-purpose flour, for surface
- 2 pounds rhubarb, trimmed and cut crosswise into 3-inch pieces
- 1 3/4 cups sugar
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- Coarse salt
- 3 large egg yolks plus 4 large egg whites
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Roll out pate sucree to 1/8-inch thickness on a lightly floured surface. Fit dough into a 9-inch pie dish; trim to 1 inch, fold under, and crimp edges. Refrigerate for 30 minutes. Prick inside of pie shell all over with a fork; line with parchment. Fill with pie weights or dried beans. Bake until edges are golden and set, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove weights and parchment. Bake until bottom is dry and light gold, 5 to 10 minutes more. Let cool.
- Juice rhubarb. (You’ll need 2 cups juice; add water if needed.) Whisk together 1 cup sugar, the cornstarch, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Whisk in juice; bring to a boil in a medium saucepan, whisking. Cook for 1 minute.
- Place yolks in a bowl; gradually whisk in half of hot juice mixture. Return to pan. Cook over medium heat, whisking, until thick, about 1 minute. Whisk in butter. Strain through a fine sieve into pie shell. Refrigerate until set, at least 4 hours or overnight.
- Preheat broiler with rack about 8 inches from heat source. Heat whites and remaining 3/4 cup sugar in a double boiler or a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water, whisking, until sugar dissolves and mixture is hot (160 degrees), about 2 minutes. Transfer to the bowl of a mixer. Whisk on high speed until medium peaks form. Dollop meringue onto pie. Broil until browned, 30 to 40 seconds.
Pork Chops with Rhubarb-Cherry Sauce
Prep Time 45 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
- 1/2 cup dried cherries
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1 teaspoon plus 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
- 8 to 10 ounces rhubarb, ends trimmed, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch pieces (2 cups)
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- Pinch of ground nutmeg
- Coarse salt and ground pepper
- 4 pork loin chops, (each 1/2 inch thick and 6 to 8 ounces)
- In a small bowl, combine cherries with vinegar and 1/4 cup hot water; let stand 10 minutes to soften.
- In a small saucepan, heat 1 teaspoon oil over medium-low heat. Add onion; cook until softened, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes.
- To the saucepan, add cherry mixture, rhubarb, and sugar; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer until rhubarb has softened, 5 to 8 minutes. Stir in nutmeg; season with salt and pepper. Remove from heat; keep warm.
- Generously season both sides of pork chops with salt and pepper. In a large skillet, heat remaining 2 tablespoons oil over medium-high heat. Cook pork (in two batches, if necessary, to avoid crowding the pan) until browned and cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Serve topped with warm sauce.
The cherries can be replaced with other dried fruit, such as golden raisins; soften as instructed in step 1.