Sunday, June 23, 2013

Savory Rhubarb and Onion Pie

Rhubarb has a secret that it's been hiding for many years under layers of sugar and syrups. Rhubarb can be savory.
Game changer. 
Think of the billions of possibilities that have now emerged. The reason it couples so well with sweet things is because cooked rhubarb has a naturally elegant bitterness that will cut the sweetness in a pie - bringing a balance to dessert. So, when you try to make a savory rhubarb dish, you have to make sure to bring a tint of sweetness to provide that balance. Actually, that's the basis behind my theory for today's dish - a little yin-yang sort of thing. We're used to rhubarb being used as a spot of bitterness in a sweet dish. Instead, I wanted to switch the ratio of sweet to bitter so our sweet element (raisins) would be a spot of sweetness in a tart(ish) dish.
I hope I'm not misleading you with all this talk of bitterness. It's not actually a bitter dish! It's salty and sweet and contrasts a nice flaky pie crust with a veggie interior. You have the mild bitter and the satisfying sweetness and, wow, I need to go eat another piece....

Well....I used my favorite pie dough recipe, but you can substitute any old savory pie dough for it (this is not the time to break out the pre-made oreo pie crust).
I wanted to try something new, so I set it up as a pizza sort of thing - flatted the dough unto a sheet and spread out the topping.

Bake Temp: 450 F
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Bake Time: 30 minutes
Ready-In: 1 hour

My Favorite Pie Dough
1 1/4 cup flour
1/2 stick chilled butter, chopped into 8 pieces
1 tbls. apple cider vinegar
3 tbls. cold water

Prepare the pie dough first. Pop the water in the freezer so it will be quite cold by the time you need it. Cut the butter into the flour until it forms a crumbly mixture. Mix in the water and vinegar until the dough comes together. Wrap up and store in the fridge for the time being.

2 medium onions
3 cloves garlic, minced 
1/2 cup vegetable broth
1 tbls oregeno
2 tsp rosemary
2 tsp thyme
1 tsp. pepper
4-5 stalks of rhubard, chopped (about 2 cups)
1/2 - 3/4 cup raisins
1 tbls. butter
1/2  cup hard cheese (I love Parmesan)

Preheat the oven 450 F. I chopped up one onion and set it aside to make a cleaner looking topping before baking. I cut up the other into semi-circles.

The semicircles were sauteed them in the butter until gently golden. I really let them take their time to coax that awesome sweetness out. When the time is right, mix in the garlic and let the flavors combine

 Pour in the broth and 2 tbls oregeno, 1 tsp thyme and 1 tsp rosemary, setting the others aside for later.

  Stir in rhubarb and raisins. Cover and let sit for 4-5 minutes. You want the rhubarb to be cooked and the raisins to be getting plump and juicy. Remove from heat.

Roll out the dough on a lightly flowered surface. I greased a cookie sheet and rolled out the dough to fit perfectly.

 Sprinkle remaining spices and pepper on surface of dough

 Pour the rhubarb mix on top and spread out evenly.

Plop on the diced onions.

Bake at 450 F for 20 minutes. Then, spread the cheese over the top.

  Lower oven temp to 350 (you don't have to wait until it lowers to 350) and make for another 10 minutes.

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