Thursday, June 2, 2011
Is it a cop-out to say that my favorite vegetable is rhubarb? Maybe. But for now at least it's the truth. Probably because there are few other vegetables that taste as good in a pie, in a free-form tart, eaten by themselves with a little sugar, or folded into whipped cream. Oh, and on yogurt. And speaking of yogurt, now that winter is (frickin') finally over, I can get back to baking or simmering my own fruit down for topping Greek yogurt. Remember last year when we did that with plums and cardamom? That stuff was good. I could eat vats of it.
And as much as I love plums, I think I might like rhubarb even better. This isn't exactly the same sort of thing as the plum compote because the rhubarb doesn't cook down to be as thick as the plums did, since we're roasting rather than reducing. But just like the plums, I could eat it by itself. In vats.
There are only four ingredients, but they're good ones. Fresh rhubarb, some sugar, a real vanilla bean and a good helping of crème de cassis, a liqueur made from blackcurrents and so quintessentially French (you might remember it from this tart). If you'd rather serve this as a fancy British dessert, rather than as breakfast, you might fold it into some sweetened whipped cream for a rhubarb fool, or use it as a filling for a tart. Or just eat it with a spoon.
Rhubarb with Vanilla and Crème de Cassis
Adapted from Christopher Hirsheimer and Peggy Knickerbocker's The San Francisco Ferry Plaza Farmer's Market Cookbook
2 pounds rhubarb, sliced into 1" pieces
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup crème de cassis
1/2 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
Oven preheated to 350F. Stir all of the ingredients together in a large baking dish and bake for about 30 minutes. The rhubarb should be tender and should release some of its juices.
Remove from the oven and take out the vanilla bean. Scrape the seeds into the rhubarb mixture with the tip of a knife. You can serve it warm or cold, over yogurt or whipped cream.
Posted by Andrea at 2:02 PM