made rhubarb for the first time, with lentils
After reading the posts a few weeks ago about rhubarb,I couldn't resist buying some after seeing it for sale at every farmstand around. The lady who sold it to me said to just cut it up, add lots of sugar and cook until mushy. That didn't sound too exciting though. When I got home, I realized I had a recipe I had cut out of the Times for Lentil and Rhubarb with Indian spices. It called for orange lentils, but all I had were regular brown, which were fine although I probably should have given them an hour or so to cook, rather than the 20 to 30 minutes called for. I just threw rhubarb and lentils in a pot with a little water (later added chicken broth when it got dry), added honey and chutney to sweeten, and all the Indian spices I had on hand (hot curry, garam masala and tumeric). The original recipe called for cardamon pods, mustard seeds, ginger, etc, none of which I had on hand. But I wouldn't make it any different next time, except for red lentils. It was a great way to try rhubarb for the first time; I could taste it but not overwhelmingly.
Everyone made a big deal about peeling the stringy stuff off, but no one mentioned what a mess! Little red drops everywhere, all over my white kitchen. I only peeled one stalk inside, then went outside to the garbage can, but even then it spattered all over the side of the house! Had to go out in the middle of the yard to finish. Guess they were as fresh as could be, can't wait to eat the leftovers tomorrow,(and my husband, Mr Meat & Potato, ate more than I did!) Thanks to all for giving me the courage to try it, it's a great new spring dish for me.
there is really no reason to peel the rhubarb. You are losing lots of the color and the very fine fibers in the skin become tender in the cooking and are not noticeable in the eating. This is NOT like the coarse strings in some mature celery or chard.Just cut the stalks into reasonable lengths, say 1/2 inch.