Eating with the seasons sometimes means embracing painfully short, but sweet, growing windows for our favorite local produce. In the spring, asparagus and cherries come to mind, but one of our absolute favorites is rhubarb. With about an 8-week harvesting window in most areas, blink and you might miss it!
The tangy, herbaceous perennial has found itself pigeonholed in recent years, typecast into the role of pie ingredient alongside its spring cousin, the strawberry. Technically, it's a veggie, though we've all but relegated rhubarb to fruit-status.
This month, we're highlighting rhubarb in a whole new light: as the star of a savory, warming rhubarb lentil stew. Paired with rich red lentils and sweet potato, this stew proves that rhubarb is anything but a one-trick pony. We use Broth Baby Turmeric Coconut Veggie Broth as a flavor-packed, anti-inflammatory base (get $3 off jars of veggie broth this week with code RHUBARB - ends May 27 at 11:59 p.m.). The rhubarb adds a unique tang that balances the richness of the dish, its bright flavor lending a perfect counterpoint to the warmth of cumin, star anise, and cardamom.
It's great as a side dish, but legendary with a couple grilled lamb merguez sausages over the top.
- 1 quart Broth Baby Turmeric Coconut Veggie Broth
- 1 cup red lentils
- 1 large sweet potato, cut into bite-size pieces
- 1 lb. rhubarb stalks, cut into bite-size pieces
- 1 medium yellow onion, diced
- 5 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 T fresh ginger, minced
- 1 T mustard seeds
- 1 T ground cumin
- 1 tsp ground turmeric
- 5 cardamom pods
- 1 star anise
- 1 tsp cayenne
- 2 T tamari
- 2T Ghee/coconut oil
- Wash lentils. The best strategy is to swish them in a big bowl of water for 15 seconds, rinse, and repeat 3-4 times.
- Melt the ghee/coconut oil in a large pot on the stove over medium heat.
- Add the onions and saute for 2-3 minutes.
- Add the dried spices and stir, incorporating them onto the onions until they are fragrant.
- Add the tamari and cook for 5 minutes.
- Add the garlic and ginger and cook for 2 more minutes.
- Add the broth, lentils, rhubarb, sweet potato, and the remaining spices.
- Simmer for 30 minutes or until the lentils and sweet potato are tender.
- Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Serve over rice or quinoa; top with grilled lamb merguez sausages if you feel like being a dinner hero.
**recipe lightly adapted from mynewroots.org.