G. and I went to our first Slow Food event last Saturday. It was a potluck at a really beautiful landscaping business. The building had a green roof with a small garden of herbs and greens, and the Chicago Honey Co-op had some hives up there.
The food was all incredible. One man brought a cheesecake topped with cherries he had foraged in the city. Someone else brought a corn dish that was like a cross between a quiche and a soufflé. G. loved that.
My favorite was a simple side dish of corn, blueberries and cilantro. My second favorite was a salad with watermelon, feta and mint. I think I am going to try to make both of those dishes at some point this summer.
I took my aunt’s rhubarb cake. My mom made it for a dinner she was having a few weeks ago and raved about it. I’d been wanting to try it, but since my doctor is on me to watch my sugar, I didn’t think it was a good idea to have a whole cake sitting around the house. Making it, taking it to the potluck and having one piece was the perfect solution.
Oh, and it was delicious. The cake was incredibly moist thanks to the rhubarb, which got tender but stayed in chunks. The rhubarb’s tartness was a perfect foil for the cake’s sweetness too. It was like rhubarb wrapped in a soft sugar cookie.
Also, don’t be alarmed by the cake’s appearance. The topping bakes in and forms a sticky crust that cracks a bit when it cools. It looks a little odd, but tastes great.
1 ½ cups sugar
1/2 cup butter
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk or sour milk (To make sour milk, combine 1 cup regular milk with 1 tablespoon lemon juice and let it sit 5 minutes.)
2-4 cups rhubarb, chopped and floured (I used 3 ½ cups.)
1/2 cup sugar (for topping)
1/4 cup butter (for topping)
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon (for topping)
Combine 1/2 cup sugar, 1/4 cup butter and 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon for the topping. I did this in a food processor, but you don’t have to. Set aside.
Cream 1 1/2 cups sugar and 1/2 cup butter. Add egg. Combine dry ingredients and add them, alternating with milk. Stir in rhubarb.
Pour batter into greased, floured 9×12 pan. Sprinkle topping on top. Bake at 350 degrees for 35 to 40 minutes.
I served it at the potluck plain, but when my mom has people over for dinner at home, she serves it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.