Rhubarb slides through the season quickly, and I was fortunate to find it at Whole Foods. We have a wonderful local goat farm in the area, and I’m happy to say after many hours in the kitchen with three pounds of rhubarb, it pairs splendidly with goat cheese in several different ways.
My original intention was to do a duck confit stuffed with rhubarb goat cheese served with a rhubarb gastrique. I made a wonderful gastrique with rhubarb and various vinegars, a little sugar and a touch of strawberries. It was dark, thick, inspiring in flavor but, I couldn’t find duck legs anywhere.
I looked out of my kitchen window and I saw the squash blossoms were sprinkling gold everywhere. A new idea was born. Rhubarb compote with goat cheese stuffed into squash blossoms, battered, fried crispy and served with roasted rhubarb. I’ve made squash blossoms before and those I purchased, but it’s really fun to do something with the blossoms that show up every day in the garden.
Three of the four ingredients are local. I picked the strawberries at Bradley’s Kountry Acres. The cheese comes from Noble Springs Dairy, a few miles a way, and the squash blossoms and herbs come from my own garden.
At first I made a simple compote using chopped rhubarb and some hand-picked strawberries. I added in sugar as I needed to and boiled it down until it had a very pleasant taste. Rhubarb is tart and needs something sweet, even if its going to be served savory.
The compote was mixed in with the goat cheese, about 1 tablespoon per 1/3 cup of goat cheese. This is good all by itself. I used all male squash blossoms, some from zucchini, some from yellow squash and this recipe for the batter. These were served with a roasted rhubarb. This was one of the best surprises of the three ways I made rhubarb. I had some very ripe strawberries and I marinated the rhubarb with a few smashed strawberries and roasted about 10 minutes until just soft enough to eat, but still in whole form.
The bite of squash blossom with the bite of roasted rhubarb is a perfect starter course for a meal where each course must contain goat cheese and rhubarb.This is one that would easily become a signature dish at the Pink Goat in the springtime.
The Pink Goat: Squash Blossoms Stuffed with Goat Cheese and Roasted Rhubarb
- 6 male squash blossoms with at least a one inch stem
- 6 teaspoons goat cheese
- 1 tablespoon rhubarb compote
- 1 teaspoons chopped fresh herbs chives, thyme, basil, parsely, etc.
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/3 cup flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- coconut oil for frying
- Gently rinse off squash blossoms, checking for bugs inside.
- Remove inside stem.
- Drain on paper towels.
- Mix goat cheese, herbs and rhubarb compote together.
- Gently stuff flowers with 1 teaspoon of goat cheese. Some flowers are larger and can use more. You want to have enough room at top of flower to close flower completely.
- Mix water and flour into a batter. Dip flower into batter.
- Heat a heavy bottomed pan with 1 inch of oil until oil is at 375 degrees.
- I use a kernel of corn. When it pops, my oil is ready.
- Fry a few minutes on each side until golden brown. Drain on paper towels. Serve with roasted rhubarb.
2 large stalks rhubarb
2 cups strawberries
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup sugar (more if needed)
Bring everything to a boil. Turn heat down and simmer for 10 minutes or until rhubarb is softened. If there is too much liquid in pan, remove fruit and continue to simmer liquid until reduced. Mix back in with fruit. Cool completely before mixing with goat cheese.
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