This salad is a delightfully unexpected way to use the fresh rhubarb and berries that are just coming into season. The dressing on this bright, beautiful salad is a happy meeting between sweet and tart flavors, the almonds add a nice crunch for variety of texture, and a hint of mint makes a fresh dish feel even more so. Avoid overcooking the rhubarb; it should still have some crispness. This colorful salad would make a beautiful addition to any brunch, luncheon, or even everyday lunch, and it can be served at room temperature or chilled. Fresh rhubarb and strawberries are available through the spring and into the summer months, so this quick, easy side dish can be on your recipe rotation all season long. Reserve leftover rhubarb syrup for sweetening iced tea or drizzling over ice cream.
1 cup water
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 cups 1-inch diagonally sliced rhubarb (from 3 large stalks)
1 tablespoon fresh orange juice (from 1 small orange)
Stir together water and sugar in a small saucepan over medium-high; bring to a boil, and cook, stirring occasionally, until sugar dissolves. Add rhubarb to pan; cook 1 minute. Remove pan from heat. Cover and let stand until rhubarb is tender-crisp, about 15 minutes. Remove rhubarb with a slotted spoon, reserving rhubarb syrup.
Stir together orange juice, lemon juice, and 2 tablespoons rhubarb syrup in a large bowl. Add rhubarb, strawberries, almonds, and mint; stir gently to combine. Serve at room temperature or chilled. (Reserve remaining rhubarb syrup for another use.)