Rhubarb instantly floods me with nostalgia. It was always one of the first perennials to push through the thawed soil in Mamma’s garden; she used it as a fruit to tide us over before strawberry season reared it's ruby head. The acidity in rhubarb is often tempered with sugar, honey or maple syrup, which is why rhubarb so rarely finds its way into savory dishes. But it seemed to me that a perfect way to celebrate this mottled red and green stalk was with a sticky-sweet and tangy rhubarbecue sauce. The result made me ecstatic, and I know you will feel the same way (and very likely preserve a bigger batch to carry you through the grilling season). —Emma Frisch
What You'll Need
Ginger, finely grated
Onion (yellow or red), minced
Yellow mustard seeds
Prepare the grill to medium-high heat.
Combine the rhubarb, molasses, maple syrup and grated ginger in a large pot. Cover with a lid and simmer for about 7 minutes until the rhubarb begins to break down into a string texture.
Meanwhile, in a separate pot, heat the olive oil over medium-low. Add the onions and saute until translucent. Add the garlic, salt and pepper and stir until the onions and garlic begin to brown. Add the tomato sauce and stir. Cover with a lid and simmer for about 2-3 minutes.
Remove the lid from the rhubarb and add in the tomato mixture, mustard seeds, cinnamon, smoked paprika, ground clove and dark soy sauce. Stir thoroughly and simmer for about 20 minutes, uncovered, until the sauce reduces by half.
Meanwhile, season the ribs with salt and pepper on both sides, and let them rest at room temperature.
When the sauce is ready, cover the ribs with the sauce and let them marinate for at least 10 minutes, or longer in the refrigerator.
Add the ribs to the grill, cooking on each side for about 6-10 minutes. Cut through the thickest part of the meat to see if it is done - it should be juicy but no longer pink in color.
If there is sauce left from the marinade, cook it down in a pot to cook out the raw meat, and serve alongside the finished ribs.