Saturday, May 17, 2008

Mama's Little Baby Loves Rhubarb

My future mother-in-law has a serious vegetable garden. And while it's still too early for most of her crops to even start growing, one springtime fixture is already here: rhubarb. When Fork's parents came to visit last weekend, they brought a bag full of the stuff, grown from a bush that once belonged to Fork's grandfather. I was pretty excited to have such legendary produce and wanted to make sure I did right by it. I am proud to say I succeeded: this week I made Strawberry-Rhubarb Sorbet and Cinnamon Rhubarb Muffins, and both were superb.

The sorbet recipe, from The Perfect Scoop, was so simple. You stew some rhubarb in water and sugar until it's soft, let it cool, then puree it with strawberries and lemon juice. Chill it in the fridge, give it a spin in your ice cream maker, and you've got an icy, tangy, sweet and perfectly pink sorbet. I think I could've cooked the rhubarb for slightly less time, since its flavor was mellow, but the sorbet is still delicious. The muffins, too, were quite tasty. Here's the recipe, from last year's rhubarb season.

I can't wait for more ingredients from the Fork Family Farm to make their way down to the big city.--S

Strawberry-Rhubarb Sorbet

12 ounces rhubarb
2/3 c water
3/4 c sugar
10 ounces fresh strawberries, rinsed and hulled
1/2 t freshly squeezed lemon juice

1. Wash the rhubarb stalks and trim the stem and leaf ends. Cut the rhubarb into 1/2-in. pieces.
2. Place the rhubarb, water and sugar in a medium, nonreactive saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 5 min., or until the rhubarb is tender and cooked through. Remove from the heat and let cool to room temperature.
3. Slice the strawberries and puree them with the cooked rhubarb mixture and lemon juice in a blender or food processor until smooth.
4. Chill the mixture thoroughly, then freeze it in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions.

Recipe courtesy of The Perfect Scoop

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