Thursday, May 14, 2009
Regrets? I've Had a Few
For years I'd wanted to grow rhubarb but never got around to planting one. This year, though, thanks to my friend Lindsey, there's a small plant in the raised bed. Maybe I'll be able to give a cutting to contributor Jim Dixon of RealGoodFood in a couple of years!
Every spring when the first red stalks appear in the market, I have one of those "D’oh!" moments, realizing that, once again, I failed to plant rhubarb. The stuff grows like a weed here, and many yards have a big clump flourishing forgotten in a shady corner. Maybe next year.
I adapted this recipe from Tenuta di Capezzana, the Tuscan olive oil producer. It’s easy and incredibly delicious.
Olive Oil Cake with Honey Roasted Rhubarb
For the cake:
2 1/2 c. sugar
1 1/2 c. extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 c. milk
Grated zest of 2-3 oranges or lemons
2 c. unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
Large pinch of salt
For the rhubarb:
6 stalks rhubarb
4-6 Tbsp. olive oil
1/2 c. honey
Preheat the oven to 350°. Butter and flour a 12-inch cake pan (I usually make this in a 12-inch cast iron skillet). In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs and granulated sugar. Add the olive oil, milk, and orange zest.
In another bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Make a well in the dry ingredients, and slowly add the egg mixture, stirring just until blended. Do not over mix. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 50 to 55 minutes. I let the cake cool in the skillet, and serve it from the pan. but you could let it to cool completely, loosen the sides with a knife, and invert onto a serving plate (hold the plate against cake pan and flip...hopefully it will come out in one piece).
Slice a half dozen or so rhubarb stalks into half inch pieces. Toss them with a few tablespoons of olive oil, then arrange on a sheet pan and drizzle with about a half cup of honey. Roast at 350° for about 20 minutes (I do the prep after the cake is in the oven, then cook the rhubarb while the cake is baking). Let cool and spoon over slices of olive oil cake.
Photo from Moosey's Country Garden.
I’ve also been roasting rhubarb regularly, and for the last batch I used some of the Katz Meyer Lemon Olive Oil. The subtle citrus tang is a nice addition.
Honey Roasted Rhubarb with Meyer Lemon Olive Oil
Slice a half dozen stalks of rhubarb into about half inch pieces. Toss with about a quarter cup of Katz Meyer Lemon Olive Oil, spread on a baking sheet, and drizzle with a half cup of honey (you can skip the honey if you want to use the roasted rhubarb for something savory).
Roast at 350 for about 15 to 20 minutes. Eat plain or with yogurt, ice cream, or anything else that’s rhubarb friendly.