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Rhubarb Vinaigrette

Fresh Salad with Rhubarb Vinaigrette

Fresh Salad with Rhubarb Vinaigrette

My mother in law, Mavis, likes to share her garden surplus.  She has mountains of rhubarb available for whatever you can dream up to make.  I’d recently seen a post for a rhubarb vinaigrette and that sounded like something I’d love.  After making blueberry vinaigrette a few years ago I learned to love a vinaigrette made with fresh fruit.

I stopped by my inlaws to pick up the rhubarb and was no sooner home than she called me.  She said she’d been cooking rhubarb to make sauce and unfortunately it was all woody and wasn’t cooking down.  I said I’d keep that in mind, but I could easily cook it to extract the syrup and strain the pulp out if it was woody.

Dice rhubarb and simmer in a saucepan with sugar and water

Dice rhubarb and simmer in a saucepan with sugar and water

A few days later I washed and diced about 2 cups of rhubarb and put it into a saucepan.  I added a cup of water and ½ cup sugar.  I was following several recipes and would add and subtract ingredients to suit my own tastes.  I let the rhubarb mixture come to a boil, then reduced the heat to medium low and let it simmer for 5 minutes.

Cook until rhubarb is soft

Cook until rhubarb is soft

The rhubarb did well; it fell apart nicely and didn’t seem to be woody in the least.  I was pretty sure I’d chosen newer stems from the center of the plant which are usually less apt to be tough.  I poured the sauce through a fine mesh strainer and pressed the liquid out of the pulp.  I ended up with just over 2 cups of juice.

Press through a metal strainer until juice is extracted

Press through a metal strainer until juice is extracted

I added about 4 tablespoons of the pulp back into the liquid to give it a slightly thicker consistency, Next I poured the rhubarb liquid into my blender.  I added honey, red wine vinegar and Dijon mustard and pulsed it a few times.

Add juice to blender

Add juice to blender

Amazingly, we were out of olive oil except for several flavored olive oils we stock.  I wanted a clear taste this first time so used canola oil which was suggested by several of the recipes anyway.  While the blender was running I drizzled the oil in through the top of the blender slowly so it would emulsify.

Add honey, vinegar and mustard and blend. While still blending, drizzle oil in until vinaigrette is emulsified

Add honey, vinegar and mustard and blend. While still blending, drizzle oil in until vinaigrette is emulsified

Finished with blending, I poured the vinaigrette into the largest pour bottle I have.  We’d have to be careful pouring it onto our salad, but with the pulp I thought the smaller squirt bottles we have would clog up.

Place in bottle of choice and refrigerate

Place in bottle of choice and refrigerate

I refrigerated the vinaigrette to chill until dinner.  I made salads with several kinds of lettuce, cucumber and tomato slices, and poured the vinaigrette over them.  The pretty pink vinaigrette was easy to distinguish among the greens and red of the salads.

Enjoy on fresh salads or as a drip for fresh vegetables

Enjoy on fresh salads or as a dip for fresh vegetables

The vinaigrette is so good!  I like the bite it has; it takes me back to being about 7 and eating rhubarb dipped into a cup of sugar for afternoon snacks.  It is slightly sweet but still very tangy.  The oil makes it creamy and helps it adhere to the pieces of salad nicely.  My P.S. and I both loved it and will be eating a lot of salads until it is gone.

Garden Salad with Rhubarb Vinaigrette

Garden Salad with Rhubarb Vinaigrette

I think the vinaigrette would also be great in a fruit salad, as a kind of glaze to a bowl of watermelon, grapes, cantaloupe, apples or whatever you fancy in a fruit salad.  It would give a nice bite to a mixed fruit salad as well as a lettuce salad.  I’ll let you know if I try it!

Rhubarb Vinaigrette

2 cups fresh rhubarb, diced
1 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
¼ cup honey
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar (or rice vinegar or other fruit vinegars)
4 teaspoons Dijon mustard (or more to taste)
1/2 cup canola oil (or olive oil)

Add rhubarb, water and sugar to a medium sized saucepan.  Bring to a boil over medium high heat, turn to medium low and cook for 5 minutes.

Strain through metal mesh strainer, pressing to get all of the moisture out.  Add 2-4 tablespoons of the pulp to the liquid.  You should have around 2 cups of rhubarb liquid.

Place liquid in blender along with honey, vinegar and mustard.  Pulse to blend well.  Remove insert on lid and with motor running slowly pour in the oil and mix until it is emulsified.

Makes about 2 1/2 cups

Keeps for 2-3 weeks in the refrigerator.

Adapted from Dinner With Julie

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