Welcome to my blog, where one may find all sorts of random, hopefully amusing tidbits about food & other things.

November 6, 2014

rhubarb bars (with cardamom + pistachio).

Have you ever not eaten enough during the day and gotten massive stomach cramps?

This happened to me recently and I swear, I would not wish this pain on my worst enemy. A long day at work meant 7 hours of not eating, followed by the really bad stomach pain. By the time I was able to scarf down an apple on my drive home, it was just too late.

How can the stomach inflict so much pain on the body it belongs to? I tried googling it - nothin. My mom explained it like this: the intestines, neglected and empty, are all curled up in a little withering heap. When you finally reach the point where you absolutely have to eat, or even worse, when you DO eat, your intestines are so sluggish and food is so foreign, that they really have to wake up ... leading to pain.

At least this makes more sense than gall stones or diverticulitis (or cancer), as suggested by WebMD.

Anyway, stomach issues mostly suck because they destroy your desire to consume food. And if I am proud of anything in my life, it is my capacity to always be able to eat. How would one be able to enjoy these rhubarb bars, delicately flavored with cardamom and ground pistachios, through abdominal pain?

Roasting the rhubarb quickly softens and breaks down its otherwise fibrous stalks. Ground pistachios add vibrant green to the rhubarb jam, which can look a little lackluster if the stalks are more green than red.

Regardless of appearance (although I think they look pretty nice), these bars are delicious! The shortbread is nice and buttery, while the rhubarb jam lends the perfect sweet / tart flavor. The pistachios and cardamom also pair well together.

Rhubarb Bars (with cardamom + pistachio)
inspired from here.
  • 1 lb rhubarb, sliced into small 3/4" wide chunks
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar 
  • 12 Tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon cardamom
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground ginger, optional
  • 1/4 cup chopped pistachios
  1. Heat oven to 400 degrees F. Toss together rhubarb chunks and 1/2 cup granulated sugar. Spread evenly into a large baking sheet/pan. Bake for 20 - 25 minutes, taking out a few times to stir. The rhubarb should be soft. Towards the end, while stirring, smash the rhubarb slightly so it forms a paste. Remove from oven before it starts to brown.
  2. Meanwhile, prepare the crust. Cream butter and sugar well. Then add flour, cardamom, and ginger, if using. Mix gently to incorporate.
  3. Press crust mixture into an approximately 11 x 7" pan.
  4. Turn down heat in oven to 350 degree F. Take the rhubarb paste and spread onto the unbaked crust, leaving a slight border on the edges.
  5. Bake for about 30 minutes. Edges should be lightly brown. Sprinkle chopped pistachios on top. Let cool completely. Slice and serve! Bars will keep for a few days in the refrigerator in an airtight container. 

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