Pies, cobblers, compotes and syrups are great culinary devices when mass quantities of rhubarb take their annual place as the forerunners of harvest season. Those few plants in the forgotten about corner of the yard never fail to produce, a friend pops over and brings a little, small gift; the neighbor digs her plant up in a gardening fit. All of a sudden there they are, copious piles ready and raring to go on the kitchen table, teasing you with their seemingly endless supply (amazing what a couple of plants can do).
Preserving the stalks with sugar and heat is the most basic and sought after method for efficient management of this springtime bounty, allowing for rhubarb to be eaten long past its growing season. While my sweet tooth may protest, there’s always been a nagging thought in the back of my head… what about fresh rhubarb, sans sugar? After milling about in the farm’s rhubarb fields for the past month, I’ve experienced something new and delightful–please, locate one rhubarb plant. Gently tug a choice stalk out of its cool, earthen bed. Slash off the leaf, let it fall to the ground. Briskly peel down the colorful, outer layer of the stalk and take that first acidic, refreshing and intriguing bite. Hello, tastebuds. Who wouldn’t want to find a savory use for this vegetable after tasting its potential? Once a plethora of rhubarb sweets and treats have been made, the cupboards are low on sugar and it’s become too hot to think about turning the stove on, take a step in the fresh direction.
four avocados, pitted
2 stalks rhubarb, finely chopped
juice of one lime
1/2 medium-sized onion, finely chopped
1/2 jalapeño, minced (or more or less, depending on your preferred level of heat)
1/2 cup cilantro leaves, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, smashed and chopped
chive flowers (optional)
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Scoop the avocado meat from the shell into a medium sized bowl. Add all other ingredients. Combine well, taking care to leave some texture to the avocado. Taste, season with salt and pepper, and adjust any other flavors as needed. Garnish with chive flowers. Serves four as a topping for carnitas, chips, crudites or anything fit for guacamole to mouth transport.