Rhubarb is technically the first fruit of spring, but you wouldn't know it from its super tart taste. Instead of piling sugar onto it and adding strawberries like most people would do, this recipe turns it into a bright pickle that plays nice with the herbaceous flavors of celery and fennel, and the richness of yogurt sauce and hazelnuts. Add a little duck or roasted chicken on this, and you'll be a true spring harvest hero.
Prep: 25 minutes, Cook Time: 5 minutes, Yields: 4 servings
2 stalks rhubarb, sliced thin on a diagonal
1 cup red wine vinegar (raspberry or pomegranate vinegar would be fun, too)
½ cup sugar
2 tsp Kosher salt, divided
3 stalks celery, with leaves, sliced thinly on a diagonal
1 large fennel bulb, halved, cored, thinly sliced, frond reserved
½ cup flat-leaf parsley, chopped
¾ cup plain yogurt, I like Forager's cashew yogurt
1 clove garlic, creamed
½ tsp black pepper, plus more to taste
½ cup raw hazelnuts
3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Preheat oven to 300°F.
Pack rhubarb into a pint jar. In a small saucepan, combine red wine vinegar, sugar, and 1 ½ tsp of salt. Bring to a boil, and simmer until the sugar and salt are dissolved, about 2 minutes. Pour vinegar mixture over the jarred rhubarb and let cool. Once cooled, cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour.
Place hazelnuts on a small baking sheet and toast in the oven 8-10 minutes. They should be very fragrant, golden brown, and the skins should slip off easily. Let cool, then chop. Set aside.
In a small bowl, combine yogurt, creamed garlic, ½ tsp of the remaining salt, and ½ tsp of pepper. Stir well to combine. Season to taste.
In a large bowl, toss celery, fennel, and parsley with 1 cup pickled rhubarb and 2 Tbsp of the pickling liquid. Drizzle the olive oil over the salad, and add pepper to taste. Toss. Arrange on a platter and garnish with chopped reserved fennel fronds, yogurt sauce, and hazelnuts.
Allergens: Nuts, Dairy if using standard yogurt
Source: Inspired by Bon Appetit's "Quick-Pickled Rhubarb Salad"