June 18, 2009

I Heart Rhubarb

I Heart Rhubarb

Recently, I’ve been struck by the notion that rhubarb is like a spoiled child – one that insists on sugar and isn’t tolerable until you relent. And it’s not satisfied with a sprinkle of sugar, it cries out for scoop after scoop. So what to do? Trying to avoid refined sugar is… trying. I want to eat rhubarb, I love rhubarb, but what an unfriendly stalk it can be. Well, strawberries are sweetness itself, and make a fine companion for tart and fickle rhubarb. They are a classic match and, together in a pot with a small puddle of agave nectar, they simmer down to a gorgeous, sweet-tart compote.

Makes about 1 cup

4 stalks of slender spring rhubarb, chopped

5 – 10 strawberries, hulled and halved

1 – 2 tablespoons agave nectar, to taste

There are different varieties of rhubarb, and they run the spectrum from pale pink to crisp green to crimson. For this recipe I found crimson-coloured rhubarb, and I’m delighted with the glowing ruby compote it made. Obviously, if you use a less-red rhubarb, your compote will turn a pretty shade of pink. This is all you do to make the compote: place your chopped rhubarb into a small, heavy-bottomed saucepan and turn the heat to medium. Let simmer for five to seven minutes, stirring often. The rhubarb will quickly release its sour juices. Careful that your heat isn’t too high. If the rhubarb threatens to scorch, or the liquid is evaporating at too rapid of a rate, turn the heat down. Add the strawberries to the pot, stir to combine. After a minute or two, dip a small spoon in to taste. Ooh, is it super sour? Add one tablespoon of the agave nectar, stir and taste again. You are finished now if you are happy with the sweet-tart taste of the compote, so remove from heat and allow to cool. You might need to stir in the rest of the agave. You can do a lot of things with your compote. I’ve been adding a dollop on top of my quinoa flakes in the morning. Spoon some over a small cup of fruit salad. Mix a little with apple cider vinegar, a pinch of sea salt and a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil for a remarkable salad dressing. I think you love rhubarb, too. Keeps in the fridge in a container for about a week.


2 Responses to “Sweet-Tart”

  1. Carrie said

    Love this picture Dawne, you are sooo talented!

  2. katie said

    You’re right…I DO love rhubarb!! I’ve been enjoying my compote over some yogurt (if you are eating dairy..) with a handful of pumpkin seeds…BLISS!! and so pretty..

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