Sunday, June 1, 2014

Rhubarb, glorious rhubarb

{my cover}

My mom stocked me up with an armful of rhubarb.  I can't seem to get a plant to grow in my yard which is unfortunate because I love the stuff.  Did you know it is a vegetable by the way?  Yep.

Yesterday I washed and chopped up about 6 cups of the reddish stalks and made 3 containers of rhubarb sauce and used the last 2 cups to make a rhubarb ice tea.  I then used the iced tea to create a delicious cocktail after googling basil and rhubarb together.

Both the tea recipe and the sauce recipe are pulled from a lovely little book I pulled from a shelf in a gas station and while I don't usually buy my books from such convenience stores this one was too good to pass up.  The Joy of Rhubarb; the versatile summer delight by Theresa Millang (Adventure Publishing) is packed full of wonderful recipes.

{New and improved cover}

Rhubarb Sauce
(A versatile sauce...good over ice cream or chicken)

1 1/2 cups granulated sugar 
1 T water
1 T finely shredded orange peel
6 cups fresh rhubarb slices 1/4-in thick
1 tsp pure vanilla extract

Mix sugar, water and orange peel in a saucepan.  Bring to a boil.  Add rhubarb and stir.  Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, stirring often, until rhubarb is tender and mixture is thickened, about 8 minutes.  Stir in vanilla.  Cool.  Spoon into glass jars; cover and refrigerate for no more than 1 week, or place in plastic containers and freeze.  

I used a mixture of stevia and organic sugar as I'm experimenting with stevia.  I let mine simmer for more than 8 minutes as I want it to be mush.  I generally use mine as a jam but since I'm trying to be  more gluten-free I plan to stir a teaspoonful into my greek yogurt for breakfast.  I saved one container out to use and stashed the other two in the freezer to use later.  I tried a few spoonfuls and the stevia held up just fine.

Rhubarb Ice Tea
For flavor variation, add a cinnamon stick when cooking, and stir in fresh lemon juice when serving.

8 stalks rhubarb, cut into 3-inch pieces
8 cups water
1/3 cup sugar

Bring rhubarb and water to a boil in a large saucepan.  Reduce heat; simmer 1 hour.  Strain; discard the pulp.  Stir sugar into the hot liquid until dissolved.  Cool.  Serve over ice.  Garnish with mint, Lavender sprigs, or lemon slices.  Makes 6 servings.

Again I used stevia and the flavor was great.  I poured it over ice and made this rhubarb basil cocktail from Elizabeth at The Kitchn. It was refreshing and perfect for a hot summer day.  I took several photos of my rhubarb cooking but have to resort to using her beautiful picture as my husband left the house with our camera this morning. Probably for the best as my picture couldn't do it justice.  Yum!

{The Kitchn}

(Note to mom:  I need more rhubarb)

This post is linked to Beth Fish Reads Weekend Cooking meme.  Click her link to find many other food-related posts.


maria helena said...

I love rhubarb! We used to have it growing in the garden when I was little. You should try rhubarb lemonade.

Anonymous said...

I love rhubarb! I got a little one in the ground last fall, kind of forgot about it, it did not seem to be doing anything interesting, and was shocked to discover it survived a couple of days at -45 this winter [around Chicago] and is thriving right now!! so basically: plant and let it be!

Beth F said...

That iced tea looks so refreshing! I love rhubarb and have been baking and cooking. I wish it didn't take so much sugar so I might give stevia a try.

Deb G-T said...

Right now I have a beverage setting up in my fridge involving rhubarb, sugar and vodka. My cousins wife served us some as an after dinner drink and it was so delicious I knew I had to try it. Two more weeks to go before it's ready but it will be a perfect little treat to sip on while we wind up a hot summer day relaxing on the deck.