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Ingredient in Focus: Rhubarb

By Chuck Sudo in Food on Apr 28, 2010 5:20PM

Image Credit: One Whole Clove
Spring harks the arrival of several vegetables and greens: asparagus, for one.

Rhubarb is another ingredient that evokes springtime memories of pies hot from the oven and homemade jams. The tart stalks are a popular addition with sweeteners of all ranges, from straight sugar to strawberries, ginger, or apple juice. Local restaurants are getting in on the act, with a wide range of creative uses for rhubarb.

  • At MANA food bar, chef Jill Barron and her kitchen staff is making a rhubarb purée for a sake cocktail this season. (1742 W. Division St.)
  • Both Prairie Fire and Prairie Grass Café we will be serving roasted duck with rhubarb compote with roasted duck. The dish also has braised seasonal greens.(Prairie Grass Café: 601 Skokie Blvd., Northbrook; Prairie Fire: 215 N. Clinton St.)
  • Courtright's is serving sautéed sea scallops with rhubarb purée, jicama brunoise and warm vanilla-pine nut vinaigrette. (8989 S. Archer, Willow Springs)
  • Eve is offering Gunthrop Farms duck breast served with purple sticky rice, garlic spinach and a rhubarb-coconut broth. (840 N. Wabash)
  • one sixtyblue has a strawberry rhubarb king crab salad on the menu with freeze dried strawberries and a vanilla bean rice chip. (1400 W. Randolph)
  • The Bristol will be serving sweetbreads with candied orange zest and pickled rhubarb this weekend. (2152 N. Damen)