Saturday, May 25, 2013

SEASONAL SPRING RECIPE: Rhubarb Compote

I like to cook using seasonal ingredients and Rhubarb in now appearing in New Jersey Farmer's Markets and stores.  I confess, however, I don't have many recipes or much experience cooking with this springtime vegetable. And yes, it is a vegetable according to a recent article (May 2013) in Food Network Magazine.

The recipe I used appeared in the article, "The Rhubarb Handbook."  It uses roasted rhubarb - to intensify the flavor. I had 12 stalks of rhubarb and adjusted the recipe accordingly.  It was simple and the Compote is that gorgeous, brilliant pink hue that is so appealing on the springtime table.

ROASTED RHUBARB COMPOTE

Select firm, unblemished stalks (the only edible part of the plant).  The color of the vegetable may vary from green to deep red and is not indicative of freshness.


Cut off any dry ends of the stalks and cut them into 1/4-inch slices. Put them into a baking dish.


Toss the rhubarb pieces with 1/2 cup sugar and a pinch of salt per 3 stalks. I tripled the recipe; but used less sugar - my preference.


Combine these ingredients and then roast in a preheated, 350-degree oven until the rhubarb is soft, about 25 minutes. Mine took a little longer. I stirred it several times during the roasting process and rotated the baking dish, too, so it would cook evenly.


 Remove from the oven and stir in 1/4 teaspoon of vanilla extract (I used about a tablespoon for 12 stalks).  Combine well and serve over ice cream or pound cake.


I tasted the Rhubarb Compote at this point and it is delicious; tart-sweet and redolent of vanilla.  I am going to let it sit for awhile before using, however, because I'm hoping the flavors will blend into a more cohesive taste.

I also think this would be excellent on pancakes or biscuits, for example.  Here's to Spring!

Carol & Gus, Innkeepers
Scarborough Inn
an Ocean City NJ Bed and Breakfast

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