Spring Strawberry Rhubarb Salad With Spinach, Mint, and Pistachios April 19, 2017
Step aside, winter fruits and vegetables. There’s a new seasonal power couple in the house that dominates with flavor: strawberry rhubarb. Continue reading for a quintessential spring salad recipe that tastes just as delicious as it looks.
There are many reasons why strawberries and rhubarb compliment each other so well. To begin with, “what grows together, goes together,” and both of these plants flourish in the springtime. When we’re talking about flavor, strawberries have a natural sweetness that softens the sourness of rhubarb (it’s like a tango for the tongue). Lastly, both strawberries and rhubarb help to naturally remove excess toxins stored in the body – so when you eat them together, the nutrition effect is doubled. Here are a few other things you might not have known:
All About Rhubarb
Taste: Tart and sour (which makes it a great substitution for cranberries)
Growing: You can tell if your rhubarb has been grown outdoors by the color of its stalks, which will be a vibrant red (this also indicates more sweetness). Hothouse grown rhubarb is available year round, but the color tends to be pale red and the taste more tart.
Nutrition: Rhubarb is high in vitamins A and C, potassium, and anthocyanin, a phytochemical that gives the stalks their reddish pink pigment. Historically, rhubarb was dried and ground to be used medicinally for a wide range of illnesses.
Did you know? The leaves of rhubarb are toxic due to their high oxalic acid content, so be careful not to eat them.
All About Strawberries
Taste: Sweet and juicy
Growing: Locally grown strawberries are the most aromatic, flavorful, and nutrient-dense because they are allowed to fully ripen on the vine. They don’t ripen once pulled off the vine, so those harvested early and transported over many miles will have green or white tips which will never be fully sweet.
Nutrition: Rich in vitamin C, which is a nutrient that helps us deal with stress. In fact, strawberries are known to have a calming effect and can be eaten to help reduce anxiety.
Did you know? Strawberries are the only fruit with seeds on the outside of their skin. There are about 200 seeds on each berry!
While there are a plethora of strawberry rhubarb desserts, these spring beauties don’t have to be reserved for just the dessert table. It’s delicious (and FUN) to cook with them in savory dishes.
Strawberry Rhubarb Salad with Spinach, Mint, and Pistachios
- 1/2 Cup Shelled Pistachios
- 2 Rhubarb Stalks
- 2 Tablespoons Honey
- 1 Tablespoon Grand Marnier Liqueur
- 1 Tablespoon Fresh Lemon Juice
- 2 Pounds Strawberries
- 1/4 Cup Torn Fresh Mint Leaves
- 5 Ounces Baby Spinach
- Prep the nuts: Preheat oven to 350°F. Toast pistachios on a baking sheet, tossing occasionally, until fragrant, 6-8 minutes. Let cool, then roughly chop.
- Prep the fruit: Thinly slice rhubarb stalks on a diagonal to a 1/4 inch (the bigger the pieces, the longer it will take to soften). Hull and quarter the strawberries.
- Soften the rhubarb: Combine rhubarb, honey, Grand Marnier, and lemon juice in a medium bowl. Let sit until rhubarb is slightly softened and releases its juices, about 30 minutes.
- Finish and enjoy: Toss rhubarb with spinach, strawberries, mint, and pistachios.
Now that you’ve learned about strawberry and rhubarb, check out these other seasonal spring veggies to learn why cooking and eating with the seasons will make you happy.