RHUBARB DANDELION SALAD

RHUBARB DANDELION SALAD

  • four cups coarsely chopped dandelion greens
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup thinly sliced rhubarb
  • one clove garlic, pressed, mashed or minced
  • 1/4 cup thinly – sliced onion
  • For The Dressing:
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • two tablespoons soy sauce
  • one tablespoon cider vinegar
  • two teaspoons balsamic vinegar

Mix the dressing ingredients. Toss the greens, garlic, onions and rhubarb in the dressing, fully coating each leaf and chunk. Make sure each bite contains both bitter greens and rhubarb. There is no reason why rhubarb can not be used in all kinds of savory dishes. During the heyday of the Silk Road, dried rhubarb root was at time more expensive than cinnamon or opium, and Marco Polo went searching in northwest China for specimens that could thrive in Europe. A powerful laxative, rhubarb was a medicine long before it was food. Perhaps the ambassador appreciation for rhubarb was rooted in some digestive ailment. At the very least, we know he was probably not making pie.When the price of sugar began to drop, that Europeans began eating rhubarb stems (the leaves are poisonous) as a food. Since then, the sour flavor of rhubarb has been countered with sugar, and perhaps other fruit. To this day, rhubarb sometimes goes by the name “pie plant.” I have hummus by simmering the garbanzo beans, with rhubarb, and skipping the lemon juice, and ended up with the best batch I have ever made. The rhubarb plant awakens from the ground like a giant toadstool in early spring, it is broad, poisonous leaves unfurling to shade the red, tender stems beneath. T early emergence, along with its laxative properties, made rhubarb a popular ingredient in many recipes for “spring tonic,”a cocktail of early season shoots and roots, either made as a tea or chomped down. People consumed spring tonic to recharge their bodies with vitamins and fiber after a winter worth of starch and cabin fever. As the rhubarb awakens, the dandelions also emerge. These two unrelated plants are kindred spirits, both able to survive like outlaws in the shadows of human settlements, growing where they can. And each has its own flavor. A dandelion is at the far edge of the bitter spectrum, while rhubarb is at the extreme end of sour. Eaten together in salad, the bitter dandelion never tasted so mild mannered. The mouth twisting sour crunch of rhubarb, meanwhile, suddenly taste sweet, thanks to the bitter dandelion leaves.

 

 

 

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