Pink Celery

19 05 2011

Ok, so it’s not REALLY Pink Celery, its RHUBARB!

Before I go on about rhubarb, I just wanted to let you know this is Steph writing right now. Normally, today would be a post by Chloe, but she and I swapped days because she has a very special post planned for tomorrow 🙂 Come back then to check it out!

So, I got some rhubarb in my first CSA box, and I wasn’t exactly sure what to do with it. I did know that my dad LOVES it, and so I gave him a call just to rub it in that I had some fresh, organic rhubarb. I think he was a little jealous 🙂

Anyhow, this early in the growing season, there isn’t a ton of fruit growing; in general, spring is all about the leaves! Check out what was in the box last night:

Salad anyone?

So I had a bunch of rhubarb and I needed to figure out what to do with it. I knew that people typically make rhubarb pies or a strawberry rhubarb topping for ice cream, but I wasn’t really in the pie making mood. I did a little search on Tastespotting, but nothing was striking my fancy.

I was sort of in a bread-making mood, and remembered seeing a “template” for quick breads in my Food Network Magazine. One of the things that restrains me from experimenting more with my baking is not knowing the right proportions of flour, egg, baking powder/soda, etc. to use. Anyone else feel that way? So, this template is exactly what I needed to get started! To help me a little more, I also pulled out my Flavor Bible to get some idea for other flavors that would pair well with the the rhubarb.

After a little planning and a few swaps in the recipe template, the result was Strawberry-Orange Rhubarb Bread!

I think the bread turned out quite tasty! It was really orange-y; reminded me a little of a cranberry-orange bread. If I get some more rhubarb, I will be making this bread again!

I found my Flavor Bible to really help me expand upon the quick bread recipe. Two decisions that I made while planning the bread was to:

1) Cook the rhubarb down with some orange juice instead of water. The Flavor Bible mentioned that blood orange pairs well with rhubarb. I figured the OJ I had in the fridge would do just fine. The recipe template also called for orange zest, so I figured that cooking the rhubarb in OJ would bring the recipe together. I think I may have made it a little too orange-y, so next time I may not put in the zest when I cooked down the rhubarb.

2) Use brown sugar instead of white sugar. The Flavor Bible also said that caramelized sugar pairs well with rhubarb. So, I figured brown sugar was sort of like caramelized sugar…sort of? I would consider cutting the amount of sugar in half next time, and using caramel too. But, the brown sugar worked out perfectly!

So, here’s what I did! I hope you can enjoy a loaf of this bread too!


~1 cup of cooked rhubarb with orange (see below)

~8-10 roughly chopped strawberries

1 1/4 cup flour

3/4 cup brown sugar

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp salt

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

2 eggs

1/2 melted butter (cooled)

1/2 cup plain yogurt

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 tsp orange zest


Preheat oven to 350°. Lightly butter a 9 x 5 loaf pan.

Mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, baking soda, and cinnamon in a large bowl.

In a smaller bowl, whisk the eggs, butter, yogurt, vanilla, and orange zest. Stir in the cooled rhubarb mixture.

Fold the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until just combined.

Fold the chopped strawberries into the bread batter.

Pour the batter into your bread pan and cook for about 50 minutes, or until a toothpick in the center comes out clean.

Let the loaf cool completely before cutting.

Preparing the rhubarb:

Chop up the rhubarb into small pieces, and put it in a pot.

Pour a little bit of OJ on top, just enough liquid to barely start to cover the rhubarb. I put in some sugar and some orange zest too.

Cover the pot, and boil away on low. The rhubarb will soften, and eventually it will almost look like baby food (I know, not the most appealing description of it!) Let it cool while you work on prepping the bread.

Question of the day: What tools do you use to get creative in the kitchen?