It’s week 1 of Root Radical’s CSA – thank goodness! It’s been a long winter and spring, and I’ve been looking forward to the weekly veg haul for months.
The bounty of greens is filling up my veggie drawer, but will be quickly turned into salads, stir-fries, and spanakopita. For the recipe this week, I thought I would focus on some ingredients that can stump some people – rhubarb and mint. A delightful pairing that go hand-in-hand in seasonal spring dishes.
The recipe this week comes from Bon Appetit – it transforms the tart rhubarb and aromatic mint into a sweet, tangy, refreshing shrub for your cocktails, mocktails, and soda water. If you’ve never heard of a shrub before, it’s made by adding fruit, herbs, and sugar to vinegar and letting it sit and infuse for a couple of days. Once strained, the resulting liquid is a wonderful, complex mix of sweet, fruity, and sour. Adding a splash of shrub to your water or sparkling water is a great way to add a bit of flavour and colour. Shrubs are also a great way to preserve your fruits and fresh herbs, and prolong your enjoyment of them!
Rhubarb Mint Shrub
- 2 cups sliced rhubarb
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- pinch of salt
- 5-10 mint leaves
- 1 cup vinegar (red wine, apple cider, or white wine vinegar are all good choices. Red wine vinegar makes the resulting shrub a lovely pink/red colour)
Mix the sliced rhubarb and mint with the sugar and salt in a glass jar and seal, preferably with a plastic lid (you'll see why later).
Allow to sit for several hours, until sugar is mostly dissolved, and then pour in the vinegar. Stir well, and the seal with a plastic lid, or if you have only a metal one, place a square of wax paper over the jar opening before screwing on the lid. You want a barrier between the contents of the jar and the lid, otherwise the vinegar could corrode the metal of the lid.
Place jar in the fridge, and allow to infuse for at least 24 hours, or up to a week.
Strain through a sieve and pour the liquid into a clean jar or bottle. Label the bottle and store it in the fridge. It should keep for about 6 weeks.
Use your shrub in sparkling water, cocktails, or mocktails.