May 2009.   While browsing  at Tea and Cookies I became smitten with a recipe.  Her description of its texture and flavor, plus the fact that she called it a “revelation,” made me crave for it, even though I’d never had it before.  I even left a comment on the site with a commitment to make that dish the following weekend.   Why did it take over a year to finally do so?    I simply couldn’t find any fresh rhubarb!   I’ve been on a quest for it ever since.

A few weeks ago I stopped by a Homeland supermarket that I don’t normally shop, and while walking through the produce section I saw, in all its glory,  fresh rhubarb!    I heard myself saying aloud: “OOOOOH!  RHUBARB”! A lady standing nearby gave me a strange look and moved away, taking her child by the hand, in that protective mode that Moms often display in the face of a loony. Too excited to care, I grabbed a full bunch and left the store with THE biggest smile ever.  My husband finds it unpalatable, but I’m not so predisposed!

(from Tea and Cookies)
2 Tbs butter
1 lb rhubarb
3/4 cup sugar
2 TBS orange liquor (optional)

Trim the rhubarb of the ends, and split it lengthwise. Cut across in 1/4 inch pieces, forming  small cubes.

In a large bowl, toss the rhubarb with the sugar and set aside.

Melt the butter in a medium saucepan, add the sugar-coated rhubarb and the orange liquor, if using. Let this cook over a medium heat, undisturbed, for about 2 minutes. When the rhubarb has started to release juices, gently stir.

Continue cooking the compote over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the juices are all released, then begin to thicken. Cooking time is about 10 to 15 minutes total, until the compote looks thick and the rhubarb is tender.


to print the recipe, click here

Comments: I could ‘t help but think of  “Happy in the Kitchen”  by Michel  Richard.  No, the book doesn’t have a recipe for rhubarb, but Happy in the Kitchen described me to a “T” while making this compote.  Maybe it was the long wait to finally get my hands on the plant, or maybe the anticipation of how it would taste.  It is indeed delicious!   My beloved stayed true to principles and didn’t care for it.    But I loved it:   by itself, with yogurt, with a swirl of honey, or… best of all,  over my homemade fromage blanc with a bit of agave nectar.  Each bite was unique in its own combination of flavors, and a perfect way to either start or end a day.

ONE YEAR AGO: Grilled Pork Tenderloin with Peanut Sauce

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