In preparation for the long Fourth of July Weekend, Dave and I put on our walking shoes and headed south by way of Ninth Avenue, cut over 23rd Street and headed down Broadway to the Union Square Greenmarket. It was hot and humid so a short stop into Barnes and Noble was what the doctor ordered! Five minutes wandering around the first floor was enough to cool our body temperature down and head out to shop.
We started at the far end by Park Avenue and walked west, heads turning left and right to check out each vendor’s haul. First stop Martin’s Pretzels. They are the perfect combination of crispness, saltiness, and toastiness. Usually we buy a bag and eat our way through before we finish shopping.
Heading down the aisles we came upon rhubarb which I always wanted to experiment with. I was first thinking jam as this has become my mother’s favorite food to eat. She combines all her fruit from the week and makes a few jars of delicious jam that might not be repeated again. I found the perfect bundle of long stalks of bright green rhubarb turning red at the ends for $5. In addition, I selected golden beets, red radishes, fresh parsley and basil, red curly lettuce, Kirby cucumbers, radicchio and a few other items. Our bags were filling up.
We headed to Whole Foods and picked up a few Salmon Steaks, followed by a stop to a Trader Joe’s Wine Store to grab a few bottles of Chardonnay and something new to me – Armas de Guerra, a dry Rose with hints of strawberries.
As is our custom, we Ubered home with five filled bags between us.
After all the bags’ contents were put away, I did a Google search on Rhubarb and read through a few recipes to get some ideas. Martha Stewart’s website had a recipe for roasted Rhubarb and Beets. Perfect! Half of the bundle was dedicated to Martha, our co-pilot! Since Dave and I met, we have joked that Martha is our co-pilot. I have been in awe of her since the first issue of Martha Stewart Living. (For a future post). The resulting roasted dish (see below) was served alongside the oven roasted Salmon Steaks, which were buttery and juicy.
The rest of the Rhubarb bundle was to be used for the jam I planned to make. I had a few left over peaches and a pint of sweet strawberries.
Recipe: Wash, dry and cut the Rhubarb into small equal sized chunks. Same with the peaches and strawberries. Add 3/4 cups of sugar and squeeze one Mandarin Orange in place of lemon juice. Everything into a medium heat saucepan and bring to a boil. Cover the saucepan and reduce the heat to a simmer for 10 minutes. The contents should break down beautifully. A few stirs and the jam will be done. Turn the heat off and let it cool a bit before placing in a few jars.
The result was absolutely delicious. Tartness combined with sweetness and a lovely pulpiness. I delivered a jar to my mother and shared the remaining jar with Hope and her roommate Jacqui who are learning their way in the kitchen.
A few great ideas for this Rhubarb jam are thick toast with a spread of jam topped with a dollop of creamy Ricotta. Also, spread a crostini with a Nutella or nutty spread and top with this jam. And of course, a glass of the lovely rose!