Thursday, April 19, 2012

good eats - strawberry/rhubarb compote with vanilla icecream

This is the first year that the the rhubarb in my yard is big enough for harvesting. Rhubarb needs to be a certain size before you can start harvesting because unless the root is large enough, the plant, which needs to get nutrition out of the leaves to survive the winter, will not make it. I believe traditionally, a plant needs to be at least 2 years old before harvesting can begin.
copyright Durhamonthecheap - my rhubarb plant after the initial harvest - this should be good for another few desserts!
Last weekend I harvested three big stalks from my rhubarb plant, washed them in warm water and then sliced them into small pieces. I added the rhubarb with a little bit of water and sugar to a small pot, loosely covered with a lid and put the stove top on medium high. While the rhubarb started to cook and soften. I took half a pound of strawberries, sliced them up and added them to the rhubarb. This mixture I allowed to cooked until the fruit was nice and soft.

The mixture can be either frozen or stored in the fridge for about a week. Rather than make pie, I decided to add the compote to vanilla ice cream.
copyright Durhamonthecheap - warm strawberry/rhubarb compote with ice cream
I heated a little bit of the strawberry/rhubarb compote in the microwave, then added a nice scoop of vanilla ice cream. This was delicious, but healthy dessert. The tartness of the compote goes well with the sweet vanilla ice cream, a wonderful combination.

If you are not familiar with rhubarb - a few hints:
- never eat the leaves, they are poisonous
- rhubarb has several health benefits, in particular it reduces cholesterol
- it can be a non-dairy source of calcium
- it is high in vitamin K and anti-oxidants
- rhubarb is easily grown in the yard, needs no particular soil and very little water
- cooked rhubarb can be used in pies or as compote by itself or mixed with berries, such as strawberries

For more information about rhubarb, have a look at this website here.

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