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How to Buy and Store Rhubarb

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– Nutrition –

This tart, tangy spring veggie is good for so much more than pie.

Shop and Store

Look for bright, firm stalks without blemishes. Store rhubarb unwashed in a zip-top bag in the refrigerator for up to a week. To freeze for longer-term storage, wash and dice the stalks, then spread them on a baking sheet and place in the freezer. Once frozen, transfer the pieces to a freezer container.

Take Your Pick

Two varieties of rhubarb are typically available at your local grocer: field-grown rhubarb with thin red stalks and hothouse rhubarb with less-acidic pink or light-red stalks. Both types deliver vitamin C, vitamin K, and health-promoting minerals like potassium and manganese.

Prep and Cook

Roasting, stewing, or sautéing the stalks will mellow their tart flavor. Be sure to use a nonreactive pan, such as enameled cast iron, stainless steel, or glass, since rhubarb’s acidity can discolor aluminum, iron, or copper. And discard the inedible toxic leaves; they contain high concentrations of oxalic acid and can make you sick.

Change It Up

Often paired with strawberries to complement the fruit’s sweetness, rhubarb can also add a satisfying acidic note to savory dishes. Add a cup of diced rhubarb into your next stew or curry, or include pickled stalks in salads or sandwiches.

To pickle, trim the stalks and place them upright in a clean, dry canning jar. Combine 1 cup water, ½ cup white vinegar, 1 tablespoon salt, and 1 tablespoon sugar in a medium saucepan, and boil until the salt and sugar dissolve. Pour the brine over the vegetables to cover, then let cool. Secure the lid and refrigerate for up to a month.

This originally appeared as “Rhubarb” in the June 2020 print issue of Experience Life.

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Health & Fitness

Lentil and Mushroom Shepherd’s Pie

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DIRECTIONS

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F and lightly oil a 9-x-13-inch baking dish.

In a 2-quart pot, bring the vegetable stock and lentils to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium low, cover, and cook until the lentils are tender but not falling apart, about 20 to 25 minutes. Drain the lentils and reserve the stock. Measure the stock and add water, if needed, to make a 1/2 cup.

While the lentils are cooking, place the parsnips in a second large pot and cover with water by an inch. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to medium and cook until the parsnips are tender when pierced, about 10 minutes. Drain, then place the parsnips in a food processor. Purée until smooth, scraping down the sides as needed. Add the nondairy milk, 1 tablespoon avocado oil, and 1 teaspoon salt, and purée to mix.

In a large skillet, warm the remaining avocado oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook until it begins to sizzle, about two minutes. Reduce the heat to medium, and add the mushrooms, carrots, and remaining salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms are shrunken and browned and other veggies are tender, about 15 minutes.

Add the thyme, sage, pepper, flour, and tomato paste. Stir until combined, then add the reserved stock from the lentils and bring to a low boil. Cook for about two minutes, then turn off the heat. Stir in the peas and cooked lentils, then scrape the mixture into the baking dish and smooth the top.

Spread the parsnip purée over the lentil mixture. Sprinkle with the paprika.

Bake until lightly browned and bubbling, about 35 minutes. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.

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