Before today I couldn't tell you exactly what rhubarb tasted like.
I've had strawberry rhubarb pie many times... but the flavor doesn't stand out enough that you can totally pick apart what rhubarb tastes like. Now, as the first sentence implies, things have changed. I've had raw rhubarb, rhubarb compote, and delicious rhubarb bars.
It all started one day ago at the Nicolai household where fresh rhubarb was cut. More detail on that adventure can be found on the Nicolai blog.
The many stalks waited in the fridge overnight and then I swooped in with a delicious sounding recipe to make their unique taste mine. Rhubarb bars. RhuBARbs.
Makes a 9x13 inch pan full
12 tbsp cold unsalted butter, cubed
2 cups flour
2/3 cup granulated sugar
Zest of 1 lemon
1 3/4 cup rhubarb compote
1/4 cup lemon juice (just happened to be all the juice from the zested lemon)
1/2 cup sugar
2 tbsp cornstarch
4 cups rhubarb, sliced in 1/4 to 1/2 inch slices
3/4 cup sugar
Make the compote! (Mix sugar and chopped rhubarb in a pan over medium heat. Simmer for about 10 minutes or until you can smoosh out all the rhubarb chunks. Blend it into a puree.)
Make the crust! (Toss all the ingredients into a blender and pulse until the mixture is down to large crumbs. Press it into a greased 9x13 pan and stick it in the fridge/freezer for 15 minutes. Also, kick the oven onto 350.)
Bake the crust! (20-25 minutes @ 350 and in the meantime...)
Make the filling! (Mix everything up. Whisk it hard. I still had some disconcerting chunks of cornstarch so I ran it through a pasta strainer)
Add the filling to the now slightly browned crust! (Turn the oven down to 325 (I forgot to do this and it still turned out awesome) and bake for about 25 minutes so the filling is set.
Remove it from the oven, let it cool, chop into pieces and hit it with some powdered sugar.