Spring marks the arrival of rhubarb at-the market and of Passover. Thus, it is not surprising that fish in sweet-and-sour rhubarb sauce appears on the Seder table in Greece and Turkey. The major difference between the preparations favored in the two countries is in the proportion of rhubarb to tomato. In Greece, one part rhubarb to two parts tomato rules, while in Turkey the proportions are reversed. The original version of this recipe, from the Jewish community of Rhodes, calls for swordfish, but some rabbis forbid its use as it does not have scales for the first six months of its life. Sea bass, cod, flounder, and salmon are excellent alternatives. This dish was a great favorite at my San Francisco restaurant, Square One. We served it during Passover and then off and on throughout the rhubarb season. Although not authentic, you can also grill the fish fillets and spoon the sauce over them at the table.
To make the rhubarb sauce, clean the rhubarb stalks by pulling off the heavy filaments, much as you would pull strings from celery. Cut crosswise into
Warm the olive oil in a sauté pan over medium heat. Add the tomatoes and cook, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes are reduced to a thick sauce, about 15 minutes. Add the wine,
While the sauce is cooking,
Arrange the fish fillets in a single layer in a baking dish. Spoon some of the sauce over them, covering them completely. Cover and
© 2000 Joyce Goldstein. All rights reserved.