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Rhubarb Vinaigrette

This here is my new favourite salad dressing. I feel oh-so virtuous when I skip (yes! skip! sometimes..) out to the garden with my wood salad bowl and pluck green leaves from the garden directly into it, then drizzle my greens with creamy rhubarb dressing, made with rhubarb I’ve also yanked out of my own (or my sister’s) soil. I should probably get myself a Little House on the Prairie-style bonnet.

Tart rhubarb makes a perfect base for a vinaigrette, in place of (or along with) whatever acid you’d normally use, like lemon juice. Simmer chopped rhubarb for a few minutes, then puree it with honey, oil and rice vinegar (which isn’t as harsh as other vinegars) – the fibre in the rhubarb will add body to the dressing, but puree perfectly smooth. The result is a lovely pink vinaigrette reminiscent of pink poppyseed dressing – and if you dribble the canola oil into the blender as it’s running, it will thicken and emulsify, like a creamy ranch dressing or aioli. It’s not like a vinaigrette that separates and you have to re-shake before using – it stays pure and smooth and pink and sweet and tangy. Brilliant.

I started out making this with precise measurements, and have since tossed all that aside and simply simmered rhubarb in water, then pureed it with honey, grainy mustard and rice vinegar, and drizzled in canola oil with the motor running. I made vats of the stuff to serve up at the kitchen theatre at the Stampede. Even people who are generally repelled by rhubarb loved it. (Either that or they were just being nice. Thanks guys!)

rhubarb dressing
rhubarb dressing

Rhubarb Vinaigrette

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July 15, 2011

Adapted (with great thanks!) from vinegartart.com.

  • Makes: Makes about a cup.

Ingredients

1 rhubarb stalk, thinly sliced

2 Tbsp. honey

2 Tbsp. rice vinegar (red wine or raspberry vinegar would work well too)

2 tsp. grainy Dijon mustard (or to taste)

1/4 cup canola or mild olive oil

Directions

1In a small saucepan, simmer the rhubarb with 1/4 - 1/2 cup water for 5 minutes, or until very soft. Remove from heat and set aside to cool. (I've done it warm too, and it's just fine.)

2Put the rhubarb into a blender with the honey, vinegar and mustard. Pulse until smooth. With the motor running, slowly pour in the oil.

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44 comments on “Rhubarb Vinaigrette

  1. Fiona
    July 15, 2011 at 11:23 pm

    Oh, I’m going to raid my parents’ rhubarb plant and make this! Thanks! It’ll motivate me to behave myself after a week of food debauchery.

  2. Erica B.
    July 16, 2011 at 1:37 am

    Perfect timing! I need salad dressing and I have an abundance of rhubarb to use up. Thanks!

  3. Richard & Barbara
    July 16, 2011 at 3:22 am

    Thank you for the recipe, we look forward to trying this. We live in ‘the Rhubarb Triangle’ in West Yorkshire, England, so we’ve tried everything from rhubarb wine to cheesecake but we’ve never come across a rhubarb salad dressing. The combination of sweet and sour should work well.

  4. Jennifer Jo
    July 16, 2011 at 4:47 am

    I like this idea.

  5. Lael
    July 16, 2011 at 8:18 am

    It’s so pretty! I’ll be making this:)

  6. Kalyn
    July 16, 2011 at 8:34 am

    Wow, I am fascinated by this! I’ve never been a rhubarb fan but this sounds good.

  7. Alyson
    July 16, 2011 at 9:39 am

    That’s really cool! I don’t think I’ve ever had rhubarb salad dressing before. What a great idea!

  8. suchalab
    July 16, 2011 at 11:13 am

    I have been enjoying your other rhubarb posts with success and this ones looks like it won’t disappoint either. Can’t wait-tonight perhaps!

  9. miri leigh
    July 16, 2011 at 1:37 pm

    This is a beautiful dressing….I look forward to trying this. Thanks!

  10. Danielle
    July 16, 2011 at 3:13 pm

    I don’t trust people who don’t like rhubarb :)

  11. Trudy in Red Deer
    July 16, 2011 at 9:58 pm

    My favorite way to spend time with rhubarb this year 1s to stew it down with a few lurking strawberries, a light touch of cinnamon & ginger, and as much sugar as I think is needed. I spoon heavily over Greek yogurt and get ready to hide the bowl if any anyone approaches because I do not want to share! I may just have to sacrifice a few stalks of this great plant to try your dressing recipe as it sounds and looks dreamy. Thank you for sharing.

  12. Barb
    July 17, 2011 at 10:54 am

    Brilliant!

  13. Ryan
    July 17, 2011 at 9:34 pm

    Great Recipe Julia! We had it tonight with arugula fresh from the garden. The sweet/tart worked well with the peppery arugula.

  14. kickpleat
    July 20, 2011 at 2:13 pm

    This looks amazing. I love a good pink dressing – though usually anytime I add beets to a salad the dressing automatically turns a lovely shade of pink. I’ve got some rhubarb and a lot of lettuce. I’ll be making this soon.

  15. molly
    July 21, 2011 at 7:13 pm

    Hey, HEY, this might entice my girl into dressing…

    printing…

  16. Wendy
    June 4, 2013 at 1:41 pm

    Can you tell me how long this will keep in the refrigerator?

    • Julie
      June 4, 2013 at 3:34 pm

      I’ve had success keeping it in the fridge for at least a couple weeks!

      • Marijean Hoene
        May 20, 2017 at 12:13 pm

        Two things. Can it be canned and we all HATE the taste of mustard. What do you think the result would be without it.
        Thank you. Really enjoy your recipes!

      • Julie
        May 23, 2017 at 1:48 pm

        Not sure about the canning, but just leave the mustard out!

  17. Silvi
    June 8, 2013 at 9:17 pm

    I made this tonight (x4) and it is absolutely fabulous! I could drink it!! Mine didn’t turn out pink. It was kind of flesh coloured. My rice vinegar was quite dark. I hadn’t used it in a while. It didn’t matter, because the taste was amazing! This is my new favorite recipe to use and share!

  18. Corrie
    June 20, 2016 at 1:46 pm

    Thank you sooooo much! I’m always looking for ways to use my endless supply or gorgeous red rhubarb! I have never thought to use it in a vinegrette!

  19. KathyG
    July 12, 2016 at 7:18 pm

    Julie, do you drain the stewed rhubarb, or throw the whole works into the blender, liquid & all?

    • Julie
      July 14, 2016 at 10:45 pm

      Liquid and all!

      • KathyG
        July 14, 2016 at 10:56 pm

        Thanks, Julie!

  20. Jamie
    March 25, 2018 at 12:52 pm

    Good use for rhubarb – I have never really liked it in deserts!

    I drained the rhubarb (not seeing the other comment about using the water as well) but it was fine. My stick of rhubarb was 200g (~8oz) and the mixture came out mustard-coloured, rather than pink. If I had access to beetroot powder I probably would have put a little of that in to make it look pink. I’ll probably put a bit less mustard in next time so it doesn’t overpower the rhubarb.

    Since the recipe needs honey, and strawberries go with rhubarb, I wonder whether the honey could be replaced by strawberry jam. Something to try next time!

    • Julie
      March 26, 2018 at 11:27 pm

      Good idea! I think the colour depends on the colour of the rhubarb… sometimes it leans toward green!

  21. Lynn
    June 26, 2018 at 1:52 pm

    How many servings does this make?

  22. Joan
    July 19, 2018 at 10:21 am

    Thank you for the recipe. I just made it and it is tasty! I also mixed everything when it was warm and it turned out very well. I do not like a lot of mustard so I added in 1.5 Tbsp., but after tasting it I added in the whole amount. I also didn’t realize I didn’t have honey until it was too late so I used agave and it worked well. For those of you who have the more green rhubarb like me, all I did was add 2 drops of food colouring and it is a nice pink – more appealing visually than the colour you get with the green rhubarb.

    • Julie
      July 24, 2018 at 1:06 pm

      Great idea Joan!

  23. Colleen
    August 20, 2018 at 4:33 pm

    This was absolutely delicious- I did not get the beautiful pink colour though- I guess my rhubarb was too green.

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