Monthly Archives: June 2011

French Fridays with Dorie: Roasted Rhubarb

It’s Friday, and after last week’s rib debacle, my expectations for this week’s recipe were high. Roasted rhubarb was on the menu for French Fridays at Dorie.

I have a patch of rhubarb growing in my garden. When I went out to pick some, I noticed that it’s a bit overrun with raspberry volunteers, so some weeding is in order. The plant has enormous, platter-sized leaves, which are quite poisonous due to oxalic acid. Fortunately, the stalks are safe to eat.

I do love rhubarb. Usually, I stew it or make a rhubarb crisp with lots of sweet crumbly topping. I had never tried roasting. This was a simple and satisfying preparation. Low effort yielded delicious results. Rhubarb pieces were mixed with sugar and lemon zest and then roasted until soft. I love the contrast of the tart fruit and the sweet light pink syrup created during the roasting process.

This was a definitely a success! It makes up for last week. I ate it both plain and with some thick Greek yogurt for breakfast, though I preferred with yogurt. I don’t like anything too too sweet in the morning, so this was perfect, especially with my new favorite brand of Greek yogurt (Cabot).

I made only half a recipe because I wasn’t sure how it would come out, but I am already thinking of variations for next time. For one thing, I think I’ll cut the pieces a little smaller as I found they were a little big for the spoon. I also think that grated ginger would make a lovely substitute for the lemon zest, maybe even with some chopped crystallized ginger too.

If you’re new to my blog, every Friday I cook a new recipe from Dorie Greenspan’s newest cookbook, Around My French Table as part of French Fridays with Dorie. Lots of other bloggers do it too. The great fun is reading their posts and comparing notes. You can see what my fellow FFwD bloggers thought about this week’s recipe. Check out their links here. We don’t post the recipes, but consider getting your own copy of the book. Maybe you’ll even want to cook along with us on Fridays.

My Rhubarb Patch

Two Thoughts

I have to completely different and unrelated things on my mind today…

First thing: Yesterday, we went into Boston to see the last of this year’s Huntington Theatre Company’s productions. We saw The Comedy of Errors, performed by the Propeller Theatre Company from England, which is being performed in repertory with Richard III, which we didn’t see. Propeller Theatre Company is an all-male troupe, just like Shakespeare was performed back in the day. All I can say is that it was HILARIOUS!

Listening to Elizabethean English takes a while to get used to. It’s like listening to a foreign language. About halfway through the first act, the rhythm started to connect in my brain. But, the physical comedy made up for the words.

The basic plot centers on a case of mistaken identity, actually confusion of two sets of identical twins, a pair of masters and a pair of slaves. Everyone is getting the twins confused, the wife, the sister-in-law, the merchants, even the masters and the slaves. Two hours of belly laughter.

If you live in the Boston area and have some free time between now and June 19, you must try to see this show.

Second thing: Of course, it has to be food related. I picked up a huge bag of beet greens at the farmstand in Maine and was inclined to make a quiche. A tour of the fridge indicated something Greek inspired was the way to go. I combined sauteed greens with feta cheese and olives. I baked the crust in a springform pan, making the sides higher than the typical removable-bottom quiche pan. It made a nice, solid, tart; perfect for lunch with a salad. It had a funny pink tinge from the beet greens, but the flavors were delicious. I can’t wait to make it again.

Beet Green Quiche
Makes a 10-inch tart
Serves 6-8

Pastry dough for a 10-inch single crust (use your favorite recipe or mine)
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 onions, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 generous pound of beet greens, rinsed well but not dried
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup milk
1/4 lb feta cheese, crumbled
1/2 cup pitted Kalamata olives, quartered lengthwise
1/4 cup pine nuts

On a well-floured surface, roll out the pastry crust to a 14-inch circle. Transfer to a 10-inch springform pan. The sides should be about 2 inches high. Prick the dough all over, including up the sides, with a fork. Chill the dough in the pan for at least 30 minutes.

Partially bake the crust. Preheat oven to XXXF. Place a piece of parchment paper on the crust and fill completely with dried beans or pie weights. (I use a jar of small white beans, 1 to 2 pounds, which I can use for about a year before needing to replace.) Place pan on a baking sheet. Bake for 12 minutes, until set. Carefully remove the parchment and beans. Return to the oven for another 5 minutes or so until it just starts to brown.

Make filling: In a large skillet, heat the olive oil. Saute the onions and garlic until soft. Add the beet greens and cook until wilted and most of the liquid as evaporated, about 8 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board and coarsely chop. In a large bowl, lightly beat the eggs. Add the milk. Stir in the beet greens, feta cheese, and olives to combine well.

Pour the filling into the crust. Sprinkle with pine nuts. Bake for 40-50 minutes, until center is set. Transfer pan to a wire rack to cool.