It’s a true sign of spring when rhubarb pokes its head out of the ground. This BC vegetable grows all over, including in many school gardens, yet we’re surprised that many children don’t know what it is when we introduce it to them. Tart when fresh, to be sure, but when cooked with a little sweetness, oh what a difference!
In our Spring In Residence Programs, we will purchase from our farmer friends at Vancouver Farmers Market, or the young chefs will often harvest these giant stalks from school gardens. To harvest, get down low near the base of the stalk, give a wiggle and pull. Voila! Out pops a stalk ready to cut and cook. Be sure to remove the huge leaves. These are not edible and should be composted.
One of the recipes we’ll cook up is rhubarb compote. We use it as a topping for our whole grain pancakes or French Toast. We also love this as a topping for yogurt or just enjoy all by itself.
Yield: 2 ½ cups
Preparation Time: About 15 minutes
Cooking Time: About 15 minutes
- 8 – 10 rhubarb stalks, leaves removed
- 1/3 cup (75mL) honey
- 1 orange, zested
- 1 large orange, juiced (or 2 small oranges)
- 1 tsp. (5mL) vanilla
- medium-sized pot with lid
- cutting board
- sharp paring knife
- reamer or juicer
- measuring cups and spoons
- heatproof spatula
- Remove the tops and bottoms of the rhubarb stalks. Pop in compost.
- Place the rhubarb stalks flat side down. Cut into thumb-sized slices (about 2 cm slices).
- Place cut rhubarb into pot.
- Add 1/3 cup honey to the pot.
- Use a micro-plane and remove the zest from an orange. Add to the pot.
- Cut orange in half. Juice the orange right into the pot. Don’t forget the pulp but remove the seeds.
- Turn stovetop to medium-low heat and cover pot. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring every few minutes. If pot looks a little dry, add ¼ cup water.
- Cook until rhubarb is broken down, soft and it smells divine.
- Turn off heat. Add 1 teaspoon vanilla. Stir in.
- Serve on top of yogurt, pancakes, French toast or all by itself. This will keep in the fridge for up to 5 days.
STEP-BY-STEP – RHUBARB COMPOTE!
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