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The Arrival of Rhubarb

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The Arrival of Rhubarb
Text and photos by Christina Oxford

Savor One of Spring’s First Gems

I have to admit I love rhubarb. Although rhubarb requires a good ground freeze in the winter, and so only the lucky few Southerners can actually grow this delicacy in their own backyard, it is, thankfully, available in markets everywhere.

Rhubarb is a bit of a wily plant. When cooking with it, it’s important to know that the leaves are toxic because they contain oxalic acid and glycosides which can give you an upset stomach (so stay away from those leaves). But the stalks are delicious! Most people had their first taste of rhubarb in fruit pies and tarts because it has a very distinct tart flavor, and so it is often paired with strawberries, peaches, and raspberries to try to tame the rhubarb tartness.  However, one of my favorite ways to enjoy rhubarb is in a sauce paired with quail or duck. Give this dish a try as a new way to ring in spring.

Duck with Spring Rhubarb Sauce
from Christina Oxford, TLP Kitchen