Almost-summer pleasures

farmersmktLunchSOMETIMES it is refreshing not to cook, but rather to assemble a few choice items together on your plate. Such was this light lunch after a bicycle trip to the local farmers’ market, where we got the fresh snow peas, radishes, cucumber and a loaf of delicious hearty Mountain Rye from Raven Breads. We already had some butter and cheese to complete the late spring/early summer plate. The fresh colors of the peas, cucumber and radishes looked especially attractive, I thought. And it all tasted as fresh and lovely as it looked.

Just in case that lunch seems a little too minimalist, let me assure you that last week I also embraced the late-spring/ almost-summer season more decadently with my usual passion for rhubarb pie. It was  delicious — and all too quickly devoured, before I even thought about getting ice cream to go with it (unnecessary, it turned out).


FOR THIS PIE, I used the top crust only, cutting the scalloped shapes with my biscuit cutter and roughly twisting strips of dough around the rim. Steve said he didn’t even realize there was no bottom crust! (True, you have to scoop it rather than slice it — but trust me, if you are serving any rhubarb-lovers, they won’t mind.)

The filling: 4 cups of chopped rhubarb, scant 1 cup of sugar, 2 tablespoons of flour and some fresh orange zest. Dot with one or two tablespoons of butter before putting on the crust.

As to the crust, I used about 1 1/4 cups flour, 1 teaspoon of sugar and a little salt, into which I cut 7 tablespoons of cold butter, then just enough ice water with a little bit of apple cider vinegar to hold the dough together. Refrigerate for half an hour, then roll out on lightly floured parchment paper or pastry cloth and cut into shapes or strips.


MY RHUBARB-LOVE was not quite satiated, but I did find more rhubarb at the farmers’ market, and made a simple rhubarb sauce (again with orange zest). A dollop of that sauce with my yogurt is a more modest, but still satisfying, late-spring pleasure!



Filed under baked goods, fruit, spring, summer, Uncategorized

4 responses to “Almost-summer pleasures

  1. Donna Barnhart

    Oh my, Toby. You hit my “hot” button. Rhubarb is my very favorite and your pie looks delish. I bought a rhubarb strawberry pie from Haggen’s when we first got home and devoured most of it myself.

    When I was a kid, we always had rhubarb growing in the chicken yard. My Mom froze rhubarb sauce every year and had a few tablespoons every day with her lunch. When she lived in assisted living here in Bellingham for 11 years before passing, I fixed it for her so she could always have it there. She used brown sugar instead of white and baked it slowly in the oven. Such fond memories. I’m buying rhubarb next Saturday at the Farmer’s Market!!!!!


    • lemonodyssey

      Hi Donna,
      Now I really want to try the brown-sugar baked rhubarb sauce version. Yum!
      We always had rhubarb growing in our back yard too. Thanks for writing your memories,

  2. Save some rhubarb for me!

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