Rhubarb Cucumber Salad

We continue to receive wonderful veggies, greens, etc. from our CSA share.  This week brought us arugula, lettuce, collard greens, green onions, mint, and rhubarb.  This time of year brings us a ton of greens, so I’m forever searching for ways to use them quickly and did just that with the collard greens.  I simply prepared them by sauteing them in a little olive oil, garlic, and chicken stock.  Cover with a lid put it on high heat for 5 minutes.  Uncover, let the liquid cook away (if there’s any left), then add a few dashes of red wine vinegar, red pepper flakes, and some salt.  Delicious!!  William thought they were amazing, and to me, this is a huge compliment since he’s from the South.

As for the rest of the CSA bag, I looked at the rhubarb and thought…hmm, I don’t have any idea what to do with that.  Some of my friends who are way better cooks than me just rave about all the things to do with rhubarb, but true confessions, I’ve never tried rhubarb on its own.  I didn’t know what type of flavor it has…only that people like combining it with strawberries in pies.  I’ve tried strawberry-rhubarb pie, and to be frank, I don’t care for it.  So, I knew I needed to find something else to do with it.

Fast forward to Friday evening, and William and I went to one of our favorite restaurants for dinner.  I had the crab-stuffed tilapia special, which came with some sort of rhubarb salad.  How fortuitous!  They had combined the rhubarb with cucumber and a bit of mint, and it was delicious and refreshing.  Since we had received both rhubarb and mint in our CSA share, I knew I had to try and make a variation of this at home.

We bought a cucumber at the store, and I set off to figure out how to make the salad and what flavors would pair nicely in it.  I cut up the rhubarb and tried a bit on its own.  I can see why people like combining it with strawberries because it tastes like a tart strawberry combined with celery.  This came out absolutely delicious and dare I say, better than the restaurant version.  It is cool and refreshing and pairs nicely with a rich meal, just to lighten it a bit.  At any rate, here is what I did.  I tried to keep a bit better track of quantities this time as well.

Rhubarb Cucumber Salad

Image

  • 8 rhubarb stalks, finely diced
  • 1/2 Hothouse cucumber, finely diced (these are the cucumbers wrapped in cellophane; I use them exclusively because their skin is less rubbery, and they are seedless)
  • 1 Tbsp chives, finely chopped
  • 2 Tbsp mint, finely chopped
  • 1/4 c. apple cidar vinegar
  • 1/4 c. sugar
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • Pepper to taste

In a small saucepan, heat the vinegar and sugar until the sugar dissolves.  Add salt and pepper to the vinegar mixture.  Put into a glass, and place it in the refrigerator to cool for ~20-30 min. (it’s ok if it’s still luke warm).  Meanwhile, chop the rhubarb, cucumber, chives, and mint finely, and combine in a medium bowl.  Once the vinegar mixture has cooled to lukewarm, pour over the top of the salad and stir.  You can serve this immediately.  Makes 4-6 servings.  Enjoy!