Anyone who is familiar with rhubarb knows that there is no limit to what you can do with the vegetable known as “pie plant.” From appetizers, salads, side dishes, entrees and more to tasty desserts such as pies, cakes and breads, rhubarb is a bright star of the culinary world.
Just the other day, a friend of mine told me of a rhubarb salsa that he had made that was very tasty. And a book that I recently looked over, “Rhubarb Renaissance” by Kim Ode, a feature writer for the Star Tribune’s Variety section, celebrates rhubarb in a number of ways. (The book is available through the Minnesota Historical Society Press — www.mhspress.org — for $16.95.)
Many of the book’s 50 recipes — from sweet to savory — looked mighty good, as did the following from the Chicago Tribune food section in which ruby-red stalks of rhubarb are chopped and paired with a jarred pepper jelly for a touch of heat and sweet and used as a sauce for sauteed chicken breasts. It also would go nicely with pork.
Sauteed Chicken Breasts with Rhubarb Chutney
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 red onion, chopped
½ teaspoon salt
1½ teaspoons freshly grated ginger
1 pound rhubarb, trimmed, chopped
1 to 2 tablespoons jarred hot pepper jelly
¼ cup flour
4 chicken breast halves, pounded to ½-inch thick
Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onion; season with ¼ teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, 5 minutes. Stir in ginger, rhubarb and pepper jelly. Lower heat to a simmer; cook 5 minutes. Remove from heat; keep warm.
Meanwhile, put flour in a zip-close bag. Add chicken; shake to coat. Heat remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Season chicken with remaining ¼ teaspoon salt; add chicken to skillet. Cook, turning once, until browned on both sides and just cooked through, 6 minutes. Serve topped with the rhubarb chutney.
Yield: Serves 4.
Approximate nutritional analysis per serving: 303 calories, 13 grams fat (2 grams saturated), 73 milligrams cholesterol, 16 grams carbohydrates, 29 grams protein, 361 milligrams sodium, 2 grams fiber.