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If you're wandering what to do with the rhubarb that's starting to appear in stores lately, try pairing it with these shortbread cookies filled with nicoise olives. Alternating sips of rhubarb soup with crumbly, salty bites of olive cookies is a wonderful way to start a spring meal. Recipe after the jump.

Rhubarb Soup
(adapted from La Tartine Gourmande)
18 oz rhubarb
1 3/4 oz sugar
1/4 C water

Chop the rhubarb into cubes. Simmer everything together until the rhubarb is soft and fallen apart. Pass through a tamis.

Nicoise Olive Cookies
(adapted from The Traveler's Lunchbox)
9 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
3/4 C confectioners sugar, sifted
1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/4 C all-purpose flour
pinch of fine sea salt
1/2 C (heaping) pitted and coarsely chopped nicoise olives
Maldon salt to taste

Cream butter until soft. Mix in sugar. Mix in olive oil. Mix in salt and flour, gently but thoroughly. Mix in olives.

Press about 1/4" thick on parchment paper lined baking sheet. Score with a butter knife into squares. Poke holes with a fork. Sprinkle a bit of Maldon salt on top.

Refrigerate at least 30 minutes and up to 1 day.

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Bake until golden, about 15-20 minutes. Remove from oven and cool on wire racks. Cut apart while still warm.