I had originally meant for this dish to be an entry for the Root Source Challenge: Rhubarb event, but it looks like I just missed the deadline by a few hours, so instead the entry will be about my love/hate relationship with rhubarb.
I don’t hate rhubarb, per se – I’ve just always thought it to be ubiquitous because every time I’ve had it it’s been paried with strawberry; strawberry-rhubarb jam, strawberry-rhubarb cobbler, well – you get the idea. And I’ve always found it to be unnecessary in those forms – it just added a weird stringy texture to the dishes that I thought didn’t work as well as strawberry would have alone. So I’ve been content to pass by the bunches of rhubarb at the farmer’s markets the past couple of weeks, until someone made a savory rhubarb dish that totally changed my mind.
At a Slow Food Columbus meeting last week, the fearless leader of our convivium, Colleen, made an awesome tart with rhubarb and goat cheese. My first attempt followed her directions exactly (barring the pie crust I used in place of the galette dough – I was short on time, and using a round tart pan because I don’t have a square or rectangular one). I made a neat discovery during that first attempt – the candied rosemary walnuts I used added a hint of sweetness that just rocked, so on a second attempt at the recipe, I made a couple of changes. Like squirting a touch of balsamic glaze on top of the onions, once again using the candied rosemary walnuts (which you can get at the Greener Grocer at the North Market if you’re a Columbus local), and adding some prosciutto shredded on top for a bit of texture and saltiness. The second attempt totally worked for me – it was a bit more complex, but each flavor played off of the other. I think I’m going to use this recipe often – it’s quick, simple, and absolutely delicious. Thanks, Colleen, for sharing the recipe.
Savory Rhubarb Tart
recipe courtesy Colleen Braumoeller
First, make a galette dough*:
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tsp white sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 sticks cold unsalted butter (Plugra or similar), cut into 1/2 inch pieces
7 tbsp iced water
Directions: Mix flour, sugar and salt; cut butter in with a pastry cutter. Add ice water slowly, as needed, until dough sticks together. Do not overwork. Separate into two disks, wrap in plastic, and chill for at least 30 minutes. (You will only use one disk for this tart.)
*Consult baking cookbook for more technique-related information for a successful galette dough.
Next, for the contents of the tart:
3 cups rhubarb stalks, cut into 3 inch lengths and then cut on a bias (be sure to remove the leaves, as they are poisonous)
1/4 cup fresh goat cheese
nuts — either pine nuts (1/2c), pecans or walnuts (3/4c), toasted
half a red onion, sliced thin
1 head garlic
2 tbsp flour
2 tsp white sugar
3-4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus drizzles for garlic
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp ground cardamom
Preheat oven to 350 F. Roast a head of garlic: cut top of head off, drizzle with olive oil and bake for 30 minutes. (Extra garlic cloves are great spread on bread, in pasta dishes, etc…)
Turn oven up to 400 F. Poach red onions in olive oil over low heat until thoroughly soft, no browning. While they soften, mix the flour, sugar, salt and cardamom with the rhubarb. Set aside.
Roll out one disk of dough and place in a 10″ square tart pan with removable bottom. Trim excess and save for another use. To assemble the tart, remove red onions from olive oil, reserving oil for later. Crush 4 or 5 cloves of the roasted garlic. Place onions and garlic on bottom of tart. Layer nuts on top of onions and garlic. Arrange rhubarb in aesthetically pleasing pattern atop nuts. Drizzle remaining onion-infused olive oil over top of tart. Place tart on parchment-covered baking sheet. Bake at 400 F for approximately 30-35 minutes. Tart will pull away from pan and will be golden when done.
Let cool for 10 minutes. Dapple small pieces of goat cheese across top of tart and serve.