There are some foods you don’t particularly notice being a child or teen, but then, almost all at once, start to be obsessed with. My next food story is about gorgeous rhubarb, friends!
Being a child, we had a lot of rhubarb my parents used to grow in our summer cottage. I guess they might haven’t cultivated it – once planted rhubarb doesn’t need you attention. It just gradually conquers and annexes the surrounded territories. I could have enjoyed it during summer time if I had had any developed palate, but I just took it for granted. Perhaps it was the way too tart for a kid. My mom would make some kind of rhubarb drink and pies, and that were basically the only two things. I don’t know what happened, but then for a number of years it disappeared from that garden and quite soon we wouldn’t have that cottage as well.
So, I hadn’t seen rhubarb for 15 years or so. I might have forgotten that word – rhubarb – and the way this strange plant looked. And I don’t think I ever missed it.
That happened in 2011 year (Why do I have a good memory for such a small events but always have issues with names, birthdays, faces, postal codes, and telephones?). Anyways, all of a sudden, in May I decided I desperately need some rhubarb to experience with. Indeed, it didn’t happen with no reason – I had seen an awesome recipe for Blackberry, Rhubarb and Arugula Tart in one magazine. That year I found out that it was much easier to buy in our small
tropical northern city a ripe and juicy mango (if you okay to pay $10 for one) rather than rhubarb. Luckily, my father was at home, and he was able to grab some rhubarb in his and his friends gardens. Thus, not only was I able to make that amazing tart but also some obligatory things like sorbet and crumble.
The next, 2012 year, just a few months before living to Canada, I got an unstoppable craving for rhubarb recipes. The most wanted one was Rhubarb Sauce Stewed Pork by Jamie Oliver which turned out great and which I’ve repeated and posted recently on the blog. Unfortunately, my father wasn’t in the city, and I got to figure that out on my own. I got acquainted with all the local farmers begging them to bring me more (MORE!) rhubarb. Most of them seemed not to now the object of my begging at all. Some of them grow rhubarb but didn’t bring it in the city because nobody had been interested in buying it for a number of years. Just a few nice folks brought a couple of stalks occasionally. A couple of stalks? That’s ludicrous – I had a tremendous list of recipes to make!
But eventually that did work. A few stalks here, a few stalks over hear. Some regular suppliers.
In a nutshell, folks, if you ever stop by Russia and decide on buying some rhubarb (sounds like a nightmare but anyways), there’s one essential rule – you’ve got to find your personal rhubarb supplier first!
Some time later, my friends having watched me suffer, started to bring me rhubarb from their parent’s gardens!
Oh boy, never ever after that has been our fridge so rhubarb as those days. Why fridge?! Neither has been the kitchen! Yup, I might have slightly overdone that.
But I had the amazing time cooking a lot of scrumptious things. I won’t be counting the simple stuff such as ice cream, lemonade, muffins, and crumble. But I did realize some lovely ideas and combos – White Chocolate Rhubarb Tiramisu (sorry my Italian friends for playing on a classic), Chicken Liver Rhubarb Pate, Rhubarb Bread Pudding, and mentioned above Rhubarb Pork and Rhubarb Chicken (using the same idea).
Here, in Canada, I don’t have such an issue anymore – you can easily find rhubarb in some supermarkets from March throughout June. Plus, my husband has been growing some as well. Not enough, in my book. Totally not enough. I wish we had 1/3 our garden for rhubarb, the other 1/3 for herbs, and the last one for edible flowers. Only the most important stuff, right?:)
This year I haven’t baked anything rhubarb (oh, 2 years ago I made an amazing cheesecake!) – I haven’t felt that. Instead, I’ve incorporated this gorgeous plant in my breakfasts, and they were so delicate and delish. There is one of them – Rhubarb Compote Oatmeal. Today I’ve got almost the same idea of making compote but just served differently. With plain or even vanilla greek yogurt, that’s divine!
What about you, guys? Do you like rhubarb and how do you use it?
Simple and delicious idea to incorporate rhubarb in your breakfast.
- 2-3 medium rhubarb stalks, cut in 2 inch pieces
- 1 tablespoon golden sugar (or honey)
- 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1-2 teaspoons rose water (or orange blossom water)
- Plain or vanilla greek yogurt*
- hazelnuts or other nuts, to serve
- Place the rhubarb, water, sugar (honey), and lemon juice in a small saucepan.
- Bring to a soft boil then decrease the heat and let the mixture simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 3-5 minutes or desired consistency of the rhubarb. Try the compote and adjust the taste by adding more lemon juice or sugar. Off heat and let it cool.
- Serve the chilled compote with the yogurt, sprinkled with the nuts.
If you serve with vanilla greek yogurt, you can cut down on the sugar used in the compote. havocinthekitchen.com