I have come to love rhubarb more and more every year. I love the zing that it has and the sweetness of it when cooked and a sweetener added. This year I have been lucky enough to get my hands on a lot of rhubarb - my sister in law has a very happy rhubarb patch! So far I have made a rhubarb tart (more like rhubarb meringue pie) that is awesome! Here is the link to the recipe(I adapted it a little using honey in the filling and sucanat in the meringue). A couple of batches of rhubarb muffins - one that was sourdough, one just a basic muffin base with rhubarb and strawberry added, stewed rhubarb sweetened with honey, rhubarb chutney (don't really love it and I have a lot of it...), strawberry rhubarb crisp, and a rhubarb syrup.
The syrup was made with rhubarb, sucanat (natural sugar similar to rapadura), and water. When the rhubarb is soft, the liquid is strained and chilled. We made a rhubarb soda by mixing the syrup with club soda and lime! Pretty tasty, but not as clean tasting as it would be if it were made with white sugar, or even brown.
I am really enjoying stewed rhubarb which is really simple to make and quite versatile. Simply chop rhubarb, add a touch of water and let it simmer until soft and juicy. When it has cooled stir in enough honey to suite your tastes and keep in the fridge. It is wonderful with yogurt, awesome on ice cream and tasty simply as is; like applesauce.
I still have some in the fridge - some is destined for a pie as was requested by my husband for Father's Day. The rest is still unaccounted for.
What else do you all do with rhubarb?
The salad was baby lettuce topped with sliced organic strawberries, sliced almonds and finely chopped sweet onion. The salad was dressed with a homemade balsamic dressing and was enjoyed by all! Adding a little sweetness to a salad is a great way to get kids to it lettuce! Dinner was served with whole wheat sourdough bread - a no knead recipe I am working on.
For dessert I knew I wanted to make a strawberry rhubarb crisp but didn't feel like searching for or trying a new recipe. So I combined a large bowl of chopped rhubarb that was given to me by my sister-in-law, with some organic strawberries that are just beginning to appear near us. I mixed in about 2 Tbsp of arrowroot powder (cornstarch could be substituted) and about a third to a half cup of honey. This was dumped into a square baking dish.
Next came the topping. I decided to use nuts instead of oats hoping for a crunchy topping, so dumped in some pecans (maybe 1/2 cup) to a food processor and pulsed to chop. I think I chopped them too finely and next time I will leave some in bigger chunks to add more texture to the topping. Then I added about a cup of whole wheat flour, some cinnamon and allspice* and a pinch of salt. After that mixture was pulsed I added a half cup of butter cut into chunks and pulsed to get a slightly lumped together topping. I spread it over the fruit and baked in a 375degree oven for about 50 minutes. It turned out really well- the rhubarb was yummy and soft yet tart which was really nice with the crunchy topping and creamy ice cream I served it with.
*I always add a little of another spice when using cinnamon. While I like cinnamon, I really like it when paired with something like nutmeg, allspice or cloves.
All in all it was a successful meal that was born from a desire to use good, flavorful foods prepared simply. I like that kind of cooking and it encouraged me to try cooking as a set of "methods" not only "recipes".
What kind of cook are you? A recipe by the pinch or an guess here or there kind?