Tuscan Ono and Rhubarb Meringue Pie

Tonight’s dinner included challah rolls, rice, fresh mozzarella salad, Tuscan ono, rhubarb meringue pie, a good helping of monkey business, and two glasses of spilled grape juice.  Friday night in our house!  I was heartily enjoying the fish when the second glass of grape juice went down in my lap, leaving me wet and sticky.  Never one to be deterred from a meal, I finished my dinner before changing.  Some kids always spill and some kids rarely spill.  We’ve got one of each.  Oh, well, that’s what washing machines, floor mops, and wet towels are for. 

Tuscan Ono

  • 1 lb ono (or other hearty fish fillet ie salmon, halibut, sea bass, cod)
  • 2 roma tomatoes
  • 1 large clove garlic
  • 10-15 small tender basil leaves
  • 1 Tbs olive oil
  • splash of balsamic vinegar
  • sprinkle of salt and pepper

Dice the tomatoes and chop the garlic.  Toss together in a bowl all the ingredients except the fish.  Put the filets, skin side down, in a baking dish.  Top with the tomato mixture.  Bake at 350 until fish is done and tomatoes are baked soft.  Serve hot with rice or pasta (or potatoes or bread or nothing or salad…)  If you don’t have little tender basil leaves, use big ones and chiffonade them.

Now, as for the rhubarb pie, oh la la.  I blind baked 2 pie crusts until they were half-baked.  Then I filled them with rhubarb curd (I made a triple batch of the curd recipe posted below) then baked another 10 minutes.  Then I made meringue from the leftover egg whites and some sugar the topped the pies, then baked again until they were browned and firm.  Refrigerate until firm.  Eat.  Yum.  And just as side note, not all rhubarb is red.  In fact most rhubarb grown in home gardens are either lighter pink or just green.  So, if someone gives you a wonderful gift of bags of beautiful rhubarb and it mostly green your amazing rhubarb curd will be khaki not pink.  But you can make it pretty with a little beet juice.

Rhubarb Curd

I am in love, again.  This time I have a new-found passion for rhubarb curd.  It is tart and sweet and thick and rich and utterly delicious.  You can mix it with a citrus, make it plain, use it as a cake filling, whip it with cream, top bars with it, spread it on toast, stir it into yogurt, or eat it with a spoon straight from the bowl as you make it. 

 Today I made this recipe; I don’t think the last few bars will last long in the fridge.  In fact, one is calling my name right now.  You can substitute any citrus for the key limes – regular lime, lemon, orange.  Right now key limes are 20 for $1 at my grocery store so their juice and zest is going into several dishes a week at my house. 

Key Lime Shortbread with Key Lime Rhubarb Curd (yes, seriously)

for the curd:

  • 2 cups chopped rhubarb
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 Tbs key lime juice
  • zest of one key lime
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 3 Tbs butter
  • 1/4 cup sugar

for the shortbread:

  • 8 Tbs butter
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • zest of two key limes

To make the curd, put the rhubarb, 1/4 cup sugar, water, key lime juice, and zest into a sauce pot and cook, over low-medium heat, until the rhubarb is falling apart soft.  Puree in blender until smooth then allow to cool slightly.  Into a glass bowl that will fit over a pot as a double boiler, whisk together the eggs, butter, and 1/4 cup sugar.  Put over simmering water and whisk until all the sugar is dissolved and butter is melted.  Whisk in rhubarb puree, a little at a time.  Cook over lightly simmering water (not boiling, that is too hot) for 5-8 minutes, stirring all the time, until it is slightly thickened.  Remove the bowl from the heat and quick cool it by putting the bowl on a bowl of ice water and whisking until cool.

To make the shortbread, mix together all the ingredients in a food processor (or an upright mixer).  Pat into an 8″ square pan (glass is best).  Bake at 350 for about half an hour, the shortbread should be very lightly golden.  Remove from oven, top with rhubarb curd, return to oven and bake another 10-15 minutes.  Do not brown the curd.  Remove from oven again, cool on a rack for 10 minutes then refrigerate.  After half an hour they bars should be firm enough to cut easily and cleanly.