Cooking with Rhubarb

April 14, 2013 7:12:16 AM PDT
Rhubarb can be confusing. It's a vegetable, but is often used as a fruit in recipes.

Rhubarb season in Illinois starts in a few weeks, and so we invited Mark Chmielewski, Executive Chef, Ovie Bar & Grill (, into our ABC 7 studio to show us a few recipes with rhubarb.

Chef Mark's Recipes: Prosciutto, Rhubarb & Arugula Flatbread
Serves 4

Pizza Dough:
1oz Fresh Yeast
1 ½ cp Warm Water
1T Honey
3cp AP Flour
1t Salt

Toppings: 1 lb. Sliced prosciutto
1lb. Rhubarb
8oz Baby Arugula
4oz Fontina Cheese (grated)
2oz Grana Padano Cheese (shaved)

Pizza Dough
- Combine all ingredients in a mixer until a ball is formed and moving around the bowl
- Place in a lightly oiled mixing bowl, cover with plastic and place in a warm area to rise
- Once the dough has risen to twice its size remove and place on a table generously covered in flour.
- Using a dough cutter or dull knife portion into 8 equal size balls
- Place the ball on a covered lightly oiled tray and again let rise to twice its size or place in the refrigerator (this can be done the night before)
- Preheat your grill to high 15 minutes before use and your oven to 450 degrees

- Peel the rhubarb and slice into 1/8 inch thick slices
- In a medium size sauté pan using extra virgin olive oil sauté the sliced rhubarb until tender (do not overcook) and reserve

- Once the portioned dough is ready, using a rolling pin form the dough into a circle or oval about 10 to 12 inches wide
- Gently place the formed dough on the grill to quickly and lightly "char" the dough on both sides in a criss-cross manner
- Remove from the grill and reserve
- Sprinkle the grated fontina cheese on the dough, place the sliced rhubarb on top of the cheese and place in the oven until the cheese is melted and the dough a golden brown
- Remove the dough from the oven and top with the sliced prosciutto
- Cut the flatbread into the desired portions
- Top with baby arugula and serve

Honey--Rhubarb BBQ Sauce
1 ½ QT

2# Rhubarb (brunoise)
3cp Water
4cp Onion (diced)
½ cp Garlic (chopped)
4cp Ketchup
4cp Brown Sugar
2cp Honey
½ cp Cider Vinegar
½ cp Wostershire Sauce
4T Dijon Mustard
4T Tabasco Sauce

Bring the water to a boil and the rhubarb for 7 minutes
Remove from water reserving the liquid and puree until smooth
While the rhubarb is cooking, in a large sauté pan sweat the onions and garlic until translucent
Add the remaining ingredients, bring to a boil and puree (if too thick, add water to consistency)