Yes, even in the middle of our deep freeze and snowy snowy winter, my ever optimistic husband reminded me that we only have 5 more months until our fresh rhubarb starts to appear as this photo shows from last spring! That's not so long, really. :-) In addition, the days are getting longer and seed catalogs have arrived so I know that winter is moving along with spring approaching day by day. Soon cardinals will be singing, in fact I usually begin listening for them when out walking right around Martin Luther King's birthday.
So with only 5 months until we can harvest fresh rhubarb, we'd better keep eating our canned and frozen rhubarb. I'm going to be taking some of our canned stewed rhubarb to a Michigan Lady Food Bloggers "Summer in January" gathering where we are bringing food that reminds us of summer. However, there are many ways to use rhubarb in savory dishes. Here is a favorite of mine as it combines so many unusual flavors and healthy foods all in one dish! I took it to the last Slow Food book club. There was not much left over, but I was glad to see a little that I could take home to enjoy the next day.
Lentils Curried with Rhubarb and Sweet Potatoes
• 1 cup dry red lentils
• 1 very large sweet potato, peeled and sliced
• 1 Tablespoon olive oil
• 1-2 cup rhubarb, diced (I used my frozen rhubarb slices)
• 1-2 Tbsp. honey (I use the smaller amount)
• 1 Tbsp. curry powder (mild or spicy if your family says ok)
• 1-2 Tbsp. fresh ginger root, grated
• 1 tsp. hot red chili powder
• Salt and pepper to taste (I added a bit of pepper but no salt)
Cover lentils with water in a deep pot. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and add raw sweet potato slices. Simmer until soft (about 30 minutes). Remove from heat, drain, and set aside. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Heat oil in a skillet. Once hot, add rhubarb. Reduce heat and cook until tender. Stir in honey and seasonings. Mix with drained cooked lentils and potatoes that have been mashed together with a fork. Pour into a oven-proof dish and bake at 400 degrees until piping hot (about 20 minutes). Garnish with something colorful like chopped fresh chives, cilantro, or rosemary.
Serve with any chutney and brown rice. This is also delicious served cold on a kale leaf as a salad like shown in this photo with cranberry chutney.
Ending with a short blessing:
Oh Lord of the universe
Please accept all this food
It was given by you
Let it be of service to all
Only you can bless it.
~~Bhagavad Gita (500 BC)
Diana Dyer, MS, RD