Rhubarb in the raw

It's not just for dessert

I've never granted any aura of exotica to rhubarb because, as I was growing up, it was a staple in the garden and ended up in pies I didn't really like. But on a recent tour in Turkey, while nibbling through a momentous spread of meze (individually an appetizer, but collectively an entire meal), I came upon a real surprise ― a platter of thin, crisp pink-green slices of what looked like celery to dip in salt; on the tongue, it was downright zingy. To my amazement, it was rhubarb.

With rhubarb now in season, consider this scintillatingly simple offering as an appetizer: Just rinse the stalks and slice them diagonally; either sprinkle the slices at the last minute with coarse sea salt or serve the salt alongside to dip into.

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