The marriage of rhubarb and strawberries is known and accepted throughout the land. The stalk and the berry reign side by side through May and June, and no one thinks twice about it.
But might something be wrong?
Sure, the pudgy, red-faced Strawberry can get involved with his pick of shortcakes, jams, or pies, and have private get-aways with any number of air-headed whipped toppings. But the rhubarb is practically banned from the table without her seedy chaperone. Did anyone ask the blushing, green stalk if this is what she wants? Might she harbor a secret wish to roam free?
I urge you: give your rhubarb a choice this year. Offer up the chance for her own private pie, or a cozy crisp. Start with this compote.
Please — just try it. Do it for the the rhubarb, and green young things everywhere.
(recipe after the jump)
(based on a Joy of Cooking recipe)
4 cups (about 4 medium stalks, the redder the better) rhubarb, sliced into 1/2″ pieces
1/4 cup sugar
In a medium saucepan, toss the sliced rhubarb with the sugar. Let sit for about 15 minutes or until the rhubarb has sweated out enough water to simmer the mixture. Bring to a boil, then lower heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 10-15 minutes. The rhubarb pieces should all be tender, and if you cook longer or mash them, this can become a sauce. It tastes like a tart apple sauce and can be used like pie filling. Top with dollops of your favorite biscuit dough and bake for a crisp.
Do you, too, support Rhubarb Lib? Do you feel rhubarb’s place is at home with its sweeter partner, the strawberry? Leave a comment!