Quick Rhubarb Compote & Rhubarb Chutney: Getting to know Rhubarb!

Appetizer, Breakfast, Chutney, Compote, Dessert, Rhubarb, Snack, Vegetarian

Hi Fran!

I wish the UK weather was half as hot as Miami, we are still in sweaters half of the time, nowhere near the normal heat levels of the season. But, I cannot complain, when we have good weather it is absolutely delightful! Besides complaining about the weather, there was something I wanted to talk to you about in this post. I want to talk to you about my glorious discovery of rhubarb.

It’s celery-like magenta stalks totally captivated me when I first saw them this spring. I was at once completely intrigued and also nervous, nervous that I wouldn’t like it and therefore would never again have a reason to cook with this beautiful ingredient.

After a week or two of mulling the matter over, I bit the bullet and bought a whole bunch of it. It was great, I was experiencing a new taste and seeing food in a fresh new light.

Test #1: Eat it raw

Of course, I had to try it raw, and see why no one eats it this way, my inner 2-year old impulses were acting up. It is deliriously sour, so sour that your whole mouth just kind of draws together and your lips pucker up. I now know, never to eat it raw again. 🙂

Test #2: Eat it traditional

I have heard a lot about rhubarb pies, crumbles and tarts, but before investing in expensive ingredients and time-consuming methods, I wanted something much more simple. So, I decided to turn to my favorite “French Women for All Seasons” and check whether Mireille had any tips or ideas for me. I was looking for something simple, which really celebrates the taste of rhubarb, and brings out its flavor in the best way, so that I could understand the taste and its intricacies. One word: “Compote”. I am not sure if it is just me, but have compotes made a come-back this year? I feel like everyone has their own to share. Strawberry, raspberry, you name it!

At any rate, this is Mireille’s compote with some tweaks which I made in the sweetness as well as ease of preparation. It is amazing! Rhubarb is in a way the taste of berries without the final taste which make them: raspberries, strawberries and blackberries. By this I mean, it is sweet and sour in a very gentle and smooth way, therefore an amazing companion to strawberries. It is a great companion to anything vanilla-y and creamy.

Rhubarb-Strawberry Compote

Makes about 500ml of compote

INGREDIENTS

  • 500g rhubarb
  • 8 large strawberries (coarsely chopped)
  • 70gr brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 lemon’s juice

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Trim the rhubarb, and then chop it into 1 cm slices.
  2. Toss rhubarb in a large bowl with the cinnamon and sugar, until evenly coated.
  3. In a sauce pan, heat the lemon juice with 60ml water. When it is gently boiling, add the rhubarb and cook for 10 minutes on medium low heat.
  4. When the rhubarb has barely begun to soften, add the strawberries and cook until heated through. Remove from heat.
  5. Store in sterilized jar.

Note: It can be eaten with: lavender panna cotta, vanilla ice cream, cream cheese on toast, and yogurt & granola (as shown below)

Test #3: Eat it different

As you know by now, I cannot stay put with a tried and tested way of eating a food. I need to see in what other ways it is possible to combine its flavors. One of my favorite ways of eating sweet fruits is in a chutney. I love chutneys, and cannot get enough of them. There is something so special about chutneys, in the way that they play with all the spicings, contrasts of flavors, and then there is a sort of magic when they are added to another food. Chutneys are able to completely transform the taste composition of a food, merely with a tablespoon.

Never having prepared this condiment, I decided this was my perfect opportunity! It turned out to be a truly rich flavor combination, with a wonderful intricacy and elegance about it. (May have just been the burgundy color it turned into!)

Rhubarb Chutney

Makes about 500ml of chutney

INGREDIENTS

  • 500g rhubarb
  • 1 large red onion (chopped)
  • 100 ml wine vinegar
  • 1 cm piece fresh ginger, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic (chopped)
  • 3 prunes (roughly chopped)
  • 150g sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Trim the rhubarb, and then chop it into 1 cm slices.
  2. In a sauce pan, heat the onion, vinegar, ginger, garlic, prunes, sugar and salt in a sauce pan. Bring to a boil for about 5 minutes, until the sugar has melted, then add the rhubarb.
  3. Reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes, until slightly thickened. (But don’t over cook to maintain its color, otherwise your chutney will come out completely brown)
  4. Store in sterilized jar.

Note: Pairs wonderfully with: feta, cheddar(and any sharp cheese), chicken, turkey, duck, or even in sandwiches (instead of cranberry sauce)

Verdict: Rhubarb is my new favorite springtime flavor!! Not only is it delicious, but also it cooks to a beautiful color!!!!

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2 thoughts on “Quick Rhubarb Compote & Rhubarb Chutney: Getting to know Rhubarb!

  1. AWESOME! I have been seeing rhubarb at the super market as well and I am so intrigued by the color and the existence of this pink vegetable! I cannot wait to try it out…. the chutney looks amazing!!!

    1. Thanks Fran!! Definitely try the compote first, as it gives you a great tester for what to expect… You can totally make a whole lot less of it also. But I love the chutney 🙂

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