One of my favorite things about fall is the rich feast of winter vegetables that become available at local farmers markets. Top on the list are the many varieties of winter squash. They add substance and punch to just about any meal in hearty soups, oven roasted with other winter vegetables, fine diced for use in winter hash recipes, and shredded for squash fritters.
As you may know this past month has been a time of very big transition for me. Stepping away from 15 years as the chef/owner of Chair 6 Restaurant to focus exclusively on private chef and special event catering was a huge leap of faith. It has been a bittersweet time clearing out the physical property of equipment and memories to prepare for a sale of the building. I have realized a few important things during this transition time.
Rhubarb is a fruit that is harvested in the spring from April-July for most locations. Stalks generally have a bright pink color but can also range from pale to green. Color is not an indication of sweetness, as with other fruits. The stalks are the only edible part as the leaves are poisonous. Don’t worry, the cooked stalks are fine and have a variety of uses. Rhubarb is naturally very tart so it is mostly cooked down with a generous serving of sugar. The most common paring is with spring’s other fruit treat, strawberries. Rhubarb freezes well so stock up while you can. To freeze, cut the washed stalks in one-inch pieces and freeze in plastic bags. Frozen rhubarb has a long shelf life so stock up!