Rhubarb Pesto Recipe
INSPIRED BY CHILE
Rhubarb is a more recent addition to the produce world. One type of rhubarb, gunnera tinctoria, is native to Chile and called nalca there. Some know this species as Chilean prickly rhubarb, recognizing the attributes of the plant’s very large leaves and thorny stem. Rhubarb in Chile is used similarly to that of other areas of the world: the stalks are cooked into jams and other recipes.
Before reaching the Americas, rhubarb is believed to be a native plant of Serbia, where it was found growing along a river bank.
SAVE FOR LATER
Makes 1 cup
1/4 cup shelled walnuts
1 cup rhubarb pieces (cut into 1-inch pieces)
1 fennel bulb, chopped
1/2 cup chopped fresh mint
2 tablespoons caramel sauce
Combine all of the ingredients in a food processor. Blend until the desired consistency forms.
If using a mortar and pestle, crush the walnuts until a fine crumb forms. Add the rhubarb, fennel, and mint, and mash until smooth. Mix in the caramel sauce. Mash until the desired consistency forms.
Store pesto in an airtight container or jar in the refrigerator for up to one week. Use throughout the week in the next two recipes. Pesto can last in an airtight container in the freezer for up to six months.
Chile vs. Chili: The two, though different by the single final vowel, are not at all related. Chile with an “e” is a South American nation that runs along the Pacific Ocean. On the other hand, chili with an “i” is a stew made with ground beef, beans, tomatoes, and chili peppers.
Sopaipilla is a fried pastry and a Chilean tradition since as early as 1726. There is no right or wrong time to eat them, and people in Chile enjoy them topped with chili pepper sauce, mustard, or ketchup. When eaten for dessert, sopaipillas are served with a caramel-like sauce.