Strawberries and rhubarb. It’s a combination that’s hard to beat. They go together like bacon and eggs, salt and pepper, peanut butter and jelly, peas and carrots. All of those pairings make my mouth water.
But this time of the year, I just love what you can do with strawberries and rhubarb. And this summer, I have big plans. You see, My rhubarb is going great guns, and the strawberries, in just their second year, are spreading like crazy and look like they’re going to produce a real nice crop.
My first endeavor is going to be some jam, to go with peanut butter, of course. My mom always makes strawberry-rhubarb jam, but she uses a strawberry-flavored gelatin, not real the real fruit. I don’t know if she every used fresh strawberries, but that’s what my plans are.
Another thing I’d like to try this summer is a strawberry-rhubarb salsa recipe that recently came to my attention. The recipe calls for using the rhubarb raw, which appeals to me. Ever since I was a kid, raw rhubarb dipped in sugar has been a favorite. The salsa here is used as an accompaniment to grilled pork tenderloin.
Rhubarb-Strawberry Salsa with Grilled Pork Tenderloin
¼ cup olive oil
Juice of 1 lime, divided
1 teaspoon minced garlic
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
1 20-ounce pork tenderloin, trimmed
¾ cup diced rhubarb (about ¼ pound)
¼ cup diced strawberries (about 2 large)
1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
2 teaspoons minced jalapeno, or to taste
1 teaspoon granulated sugar, more if needed
10 ounces fresh spinach, rinsed
Preheat grill to very hot. Lightly oil grill grates.
In a small bowl, stir together olive oil, half the lime juice, garlic, salt and pepper.
Put tenderloin on plate and pour half of olive oil mixture over tenderloin. Rub oil mixture on all sides of tenderloin and set aside to rest at room temperature while grill heats. Reserve remaining olive oil mixture.
In a medium bowl, stir together rhubarb, strawberries, cilantro, jalapeno, remaining lime juice and sugar. Toss and season to taste with salt, pepper and additional sugar, if needed. Set aside until pork is cooked.
When grill is ready, cook pork tenderloin until its temperature reaches 145 degrees, turning to brown all sides, about 10 minutes total. Remove pork from grill, cover with foil and allow to rest.
In a quart-size microwave-proof bowl, steam spinach in microwave for 3 minutes or until just wilted. Remove from microwave and toss with remaining olive oil mixture. Arrange on platter. Slice tenderloin in ½-inch pieces and arrange over spinach. Spoon salsa on platter and serve immediately.
Yield: Serves 4.
Approximate nutritional analysis per serving: 320 calories, 52 percent of calories from fat, 32 grams protein, 6 grams carbohydrates, 3 grams fiber, 19 grams fat (4 grams saturated), 92 milligrams cholesterol, 395 milligrams sodium.