We love working our way through seasonal spring produce, and chef Ryan Ratino’s rhubarb BBQ sauce caught our eye immediately. He pairs it with squab on the menu at Bresca in Washington D.C.
“The initial idea came about because I wanted to use rhubarb now that it is in season and use it in a way that has never been used before,” says Ratino. “When you make BBQ sauce, you typically use a lot of acids/vinegar. Instead of using vinegar, I chose to use the rhubarb juice. If you drink rhubarb juice on its own, it’s literally like drinking vinegar. By using this ingredient, you get the same effect but you have a seasonal component that adds some elegance to the aroma of the sauce.”
Brush it on grilled meats until those bright pink stalks disappear from the farmers market (and miss it when it’s gone).
- 1/2 onion, diced
- 3 stalks rhubarb, diced
- 6 cloves grated garlic
- 1 cup garlic powder
- 1/2 cup onion powder
- 1/2 cup mustard powder
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1/4 cup ketchup
- 2 tablespoons salt
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup molasses
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 4-6 rhubarb stalks, juiced (about 1/2 cup)
For the sauce
Sweat the rhubarb, garlic and onion in medium-low heat.
Remove the rhubarb, garlic and onion from the pan – set aside.
In the same pan, toast all the spices (garlic powder, onion powder, mustard powder, salt) in medium-low heat until fragrant.
Combine the toasted spices, sweated rhubarb, garlic and onion with all remaining ingredients in the same pan and stew for one hour.
Blend until smooth.