This week I've been featuring some gorgeous and delicious recipes from Eva Kosmas Flores' newest cookbook First We Eat, a stunning new book that celebrates the author's Mediterranean roots with her Pacific Northwest home. Her stunning photography and approachable recipes will woo you right into your kitchen. Each seasonal chapter begins with a menu as well as gardening tips (from planting and transplanting to composting and seed saving) and highlights the season's bounty. She'll whet your appetite with dishes such as Chopped Chard and Apricot Salad with Feta, Crispy Pancetta, and Rosemary Dressing and Milk-Braised Pork Butt Roast with Leeks and Fennel and desserts like Lilac Cupcakes with Vanilla-White Chocolate Buttercream. And those are just from Spring! She offers tips on eating seasonally and how to source ethically raised meats, and includes recipes for homemade pantry basics like quick-pickled vegetables, preserved lemons, flavored butters and more.
Today's recipe is a whet-your-whistle rum-based drink that highlights an early spring ingredient - rhubarb. This sweet and tangy libation will make you want to throw your shoes off and go barefoot in the garden. Pair this cocktail with Eva's garden fresh Snap Pea Salad with Preserved Lemon and Goat Cheese Medallions and serve her Black Pepper Rack of Lamb with Red Currant and Rhubarb Glaze for a sumptuous main.
Tomorrow I'll be featuring a final recipe from her new cookbook, one that you'll want to stay in your jammies for it's so cozy - Blueberry Dutch Baby.
Get her gorgeous cookbook here.
Rhubarb-Ginger Planter’s Punch
— Serves 4 —
"Planter’s punch is my favorite warm-weather drink to make for parties. It involves rum (my favorite liquor), pineapple juice (my favorite mixer), lime juice (my favorite citrus), and, traditionally, grenadine syrup, which I always nix and instead use as an opportunity to insert some seasonal fruit syrup into the drink. For this cocktail, I made a tangy, bright syrup using fresh ginger and rhubarb from my garden. The syrup is super-easy to make—you pretty much just simmer all the ingredients together for a bit and then strain them—and the punch just involves dumping everything into a pitcher and stirring it for a few seconds. It’s a great go-to cocktail that you can always change up simply by subbing in different fruits for the syrup. I’ve also made this with a strawberry-balsamic syrup and a blueberry-mint one, and I highly recommend trying out both!" ~Eva Kosmas Flores
3 rhubarb stalks, cut into slices
1/2-inch (12-mm) thick
1 (2-inch/5-cm) piece fresh ginger,peeled and cut into 4 slices
3/4 cup (150 g) sugar
2 cups (480 ml) pineapple juice
1 1/2 cups (360 ml) golden rum
1/4 cup (60 ml) fresh lime juice
1 (6-inch/15-cm) piece rhubarb, cut into slices 1/2-inch (12-mm) thick
—For the rhubarb-ginger syrup, in a small saucepan, combine the rhubarb, ginger, sugar, and 3/4 cup (180 ml) water and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to low and cook until the rhubarb has nearly disintegrated and the ginger has softened, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to cool for 5 minutes. Strain the syrup into a bowl and discard the solids.
—For the planter’s punch, in a large pitcher, stir together the pineapple juice, rum, lime juice, 1/4 cup (60 ml) of the rhubarb-ginger syrup, and the rhubarb slices. Distribute among four ice-filled glasses and serve.
Recipe and images excerpted with permission from First We Eat by Eva Kosmas Flores, published by Abrams. All Rights Reserved.