Crisps, cobblers, and pies may be among the first dishes that come to mind when you're thinking about cooking with rhubarb, but Ina Garten has a favorite preparation that's just a little bit out of the box — or pie plate, if you will. In her 2018 cookbook "Cook Like a Pro," Garten featured her take on a recipe she credits to Yotam Ottolenghi, an Israeli-born British chef who owns and operates seven London restaurants. Known for creating approachable foods — a trait he shares with the Barefoot Contessa — Ottolenghi's recipe for roasted rhubarb with sweet labneh is a straightforward but elegant dish that begins with roasting cubes of fresh rhubarb blended with wine, sugar, a vanilla pod with seeds, and lemon strips. The roasted rhubarb is spooned on top of lemon zest-infused labneh (strained yogurt) and finished with chopped pistachios.
Garten's take follows Ottolenghi's recipe almost to a T. (This is not surprising in light of the Instagram shout-out she gave to the chef back in 2016 when she declared it may be her favorite dessert ever.) The Barefoot Contessa repeated her nod to Ottolenghi in her 2018 cookbook when she wrote the intro to her version of vanilla roasted rhubarb with sweet yogurt, sharing, "I've used rhubarb in pies and crumbles but never roasted it on its own. This recipe is inspired by his: There's something about the vanilla bean and rhubarb roasted together that's just out of this world."
Making The Most Of Rhubarb Season
With the exception of grating a bit of lemon zest over the sweetened yogurt just before serving, Garten's dish is almost identical to Ottolenghi's. Clearly, she was thrilled to find a way to serve rhubarb without a crust or a crumble, but that doesn't mean she's a stranger to the rosy-toned spring vegetable. (Yes, despite what you may have heard, rhubarb is indeed a vegetable. The confusion stems from a 1947 New York customs ruling to classify rhubarb, which is botanically part of the buckwheat family, as a fruit in order to avoid higher tariffs on imported vegetables.)
Sadly, especially for fans like Garten, fresh rhubarb is only in season for a few weeks each year. So, when it's available, the Barefoot Contessa makes a point of finding ways to feature it in her dishes, often incorporating other berries and fruits. Garten's rhubarb repertoire includes everything from compotes to crostatas, but her go-to dish when she's entertaining a group that includes kids and adults is a simple strawberry rhubarb crisp with a sweet and crunchy oatmeal crumble topping.
Read the original article on Tasting Table.