This has been a weird week. As a friend put it, we had April in January, March in February, May in March, and now in April we’re having November, December, and January all rolled into one. The weather may be a little annoying to the average Seattlite, but it is downright dangerous to farmers. One farm I know of lost nine different greenhouse/tunnel structures in the wind storm last weekend and even had a couple of injuries on the farm. So when you see the rain, snow, hail, and wind, remember that your local farmers depend on the weather. What might be a minor inconvenience to us can be catastrophic to them.
So next time you see your favorite farmers, just give them a quick word of thanks for everything they do to get your food to the market.
I was longing for spring the other day, and even moreso, summer. Summer to me says salsa and while I didn’t have the standard salsa ingredients like peppers and tomatoes, I did have rhubarb. Well, why not? So I experimented and came up with a rhubarb salsa to top our cod from Wilson’s Fish.
Black Cod with Rhubarb Salsa
Serves 2 generously
- 3-4 medium stalks of rhubarb, sliced (about 2 cups)
- 1/2 red onion, minced
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1 Tbsp sugar
- 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
- Salt and pepper
- Set a small pot of water to boil.
- Drop the sliced rhubarb in the boiling water and boil for ONLY ONE MINUTE!
- Immediately transfer the rhubarb to a strainer and then to a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking process.
- Mix the rhubarb, red onion, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, sugar, and crushed red pepper flakes.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Sprinkle the fish with salt and pepper and bake at 400 for 15-20 minutes, depending on thickness.
- Serve over the fish.
Notes: The most important thing to stress here is that you should only cook the rhubarb for ONE MINUTE! In fact, 45 seconds would probably be plenty. Also, as soon as you remove the pot from the heat, drain the rhubarb and then dump it into a bowl of ice water (or run cold water over the colander until the rhubarb is completely cool).
The texture of this salsa is spot on. The rhubarb crunches just like a pepper would, and you still have the bite of the onion and the tang of the vinegar. Balsamic vinegar brings out the natural sweetness of the rhubarb with just a small amount of sugar to balance out the flavors. We used powdered padron peppers instead of the dried red pepper flakes, but as the season progresses and rhubarb makes a second appearance in the summer, I’m sure a hot pepper minced into the salsa would also be fantastic. We made this again a week later and served it with chips and it worked wonderfully.
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