Don’t overcook the rhubarb

Rhubarb is coming into season, so now is the perfect time to make good use of the red-and-green sour stalks. While delightful in pies and crumbles, a piece of roasted rhubarb is perfect tossed into a salad, served along a grilled pork loin, used to top a bowl of vanilla ice cream or as a garnish for a cocktail.

But rhubarb is easy to overcook and can quickly can go from astringent and stringy to flavorless, grey mush. The sweet spot for perfectly roasted rhubarb is rather easy to achieve, though, if you know how.

Chop 2 cups of rhubarb into half-inch pieces and toss into a bowl with 2 tablespoons of sugar, 1 tablespoon of honey, and the zest of a lemon (or orange or lime), and allow it all to sit for 10 minutes to macerate. Place the mixture in a baking dish in a single layer and roast at 400 degrees for about six to eight minutes.

The rhubarb will still be crisp but no longer stringy, and be toothsome with a bit of give. If they still taste a bit sour, add a little more sugar and toss together. Reserve the syrupy juices, and mix them with a bit of olive oil and balsamic vinegar for a fruity and sweet dressing.