Friday, April 15, 2011

She's at it again...

Rhubarb, 2010

Right around this time last year I became a little obsessed with rhubarb. Today at the market it all came rushing back to me when I saw my first crimson stalks of the season and quickly snatched them up. I turned the corner and saw Straus Vanilla Bean Ice Cream, my favorite vanilla ice cream, and it was on sale. Obviously, this was all very meant to be. When I returned home I looked back at my recipes from last year, Star Anise Rhubarb (including the Rhubarb with Juniper Berries recipe) and Rhubarb with Earl Grey Tea, Cardamom, and Orange Zest and then looked around the kitchen and found I didn't have the ingredients for either one. Let's be honest here, I rarely make the same thing twice, there always has to be a substitution here and spice change there, so as I mentioned before, this was all very meant to be. I made the following tonight.
Rhubarb with Blood Orange & Cloves
2 servings (+ a little bit more)

3 long thin ribs of rhubarb (roughly chop into 1" pieces)
2 small blood oranges (zest and then supreme, saving all orange juice -
1/2 of the zest will be added before cooking and 1/2 added after cooking)
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 vanilla bean split, seeds removed (you will use only the seeds) save the scraped bean, bury it in some sugar, and enjoy vanilla sugar later
4 cloves (remove buds from stems
and crush buds only) save the stems for another recipe

1 small scoop vanilla ice cream per serving

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.

Place chopped rhubarb, orange sections, and all orange juice in a small casserole dish or oven-safe pot.

Add 1/2 of the orange zest, sugar, vanilla seeds, crushed cloves, and gently toss.

Bake uncovered for 15 minutes. Stir (It will smell so good). Bake an additional 15 minutes. Fruit should be tender and kitchen should smell even better than it did the first time you opened the oven door. Cool 5-10 minutes and then top with remaining orange zest.

Serve warm with a scoop of cold ice cream on top.
You must see the gorgeous photograph Sarah Shatz at food52 made of my Rhubarb with Earl Grey Tea, Cardamom, and Orange Zest last year. The woman knows how to photograph food.

Addendum: It is the next morning. After two servings, there is a little bit of my rhubarb remaining in the pot. I am tasting it cold, without ice cream, and it is very good, maybe even better than last night.

Addendum II: Last night I made a similar dish. I increased rhubarb to 4 ribs, no orange segments or zest, the juice of one Meyer lemon, upped the sugar to closer to 1/2 cup, no vanilla, 1 teaspoon garam masala. Yum.


  1. It must have been meant to be indeed :-) Just realized I've never eaten rhubarb, but your post definitely inspired me ! Have a happy weekend!

  2. I love rhubarb and was looking for a new recipe to try. Love both your photo and the one on Sarah's blog. I find you both know how to photograph food.

  3. The rhubarb in our garden is so close to being big enough for pulling. I can't wait for that first crumble (my rhubarb staple). Anything rhubarb is good!

  4. I have never eaten or cooked with rhubarb, ever. I was never tempted to try it and, before I moved to Holland, I have never seen it up close. You can't really find it in Greece, well, in Athens at least.
    Sarah Shatz's photograph is indeed fetching.

  5. Rhubarb has been a recent addition to my life (a friend gave me a few plants several years ago and I couldn't resist). Now spring brings with it the desire for not only asparagus and greens, but rhubarb. Your recipe is much healthier than what I do with it...but yum either way.

  6. I am tickled to see another rhubarb recipe from you and that vanilla ice cream just makes it tops! The link for your recipe last year looks amazing. It's always so lovely to see what you bring to the pun intended!

  7. Good food is always better the next day. Bad food is worse. Rhubarb is now on my wishlist.

  8. The title is so enticing, I will be making a my second trip to the grocery store.

  9. Oh, oh, oh... this looks yummy.
    Your picture is great, too.

  10. mmm, sounds delicious, I must try it!

  11. like a hand, reaching toward us, coaxing us in.

    my 'barb patch is going mad. gorgeous new recipe to add to the coffers, thank you.

  12. You saw that story on sugar in NYT today? What I like about your rhubarb recipe is how little sugar you use. Maybe I'll change my mind about rhubarb!

  13. i have a boatload of rhubarb in the freezer that needs to be et...and boy do i love eating cardomom pods. this sounds like just the thing to use up some of that harvest...& open-faced rhubarb tart, too!

  14. fancy rhubarb and ice, where have i been hiding? it's just that, in this house, rhubarb is best loved for its gigantic stem, seedy at the top, placed in a vase, until it wilts. for decoration purposes only, thus.
    ai, it is a sour fruit!
    but then again.
    nothing that a sprinkle of sugar can't put right. i am almost tempted, with the blood orange theater.
    and all of this, while rhubarb is sprouting from my mum's garden soil abundantly.
    i mean, that easy.
    i will let you know if anything besides sprouting goes on, around here...

  15. Rhubarb, I almost forgot that it is soon also growing here, one of the very first green (or red) things to arrive.

    It sounds wonderful.

    Thank you so much for your kind comment.

    Sunny greetings from me to you.

  16. Yum. I do believe it would taste even better the next morning. Thank you for the recipe.
    As for the single white slipper in the park...hmmm....I will be thinking of this for some time...what stories could it tell...perhaps it's just being it's own peculiar self...should this be the case, it must be a very wise slipper indeed...

  17. Anne, Never? It's worth a try. My recipe is a bit tart, if you are not a fan of tart, just up the sugar amount.

    Emily Vanessa, food52, the blog where Sarah is the photographer, seems a blog you might have fun perusing. Many recipes.

    Anja, From your own garden has got to be the best. Enjoy your crumble.

    Magda, I wonder if you'd actually like it. Maybe you'll give it a try one day. If you do, let me know.

    Rachel, I'm not opposed to something less healthy. I'd love to know what you'd do with it.

    alexandria, Thanks. Rhubarb is a big favorite of mine and I love experimenting.

    mise, Very wise statement.

    Rachael, I hope it was worth it.

    Beth, Yes, it is. I hope you are enjoying some rhubarb this spring.

    hila, I hope you try one of these variations or change it up a bit to make it your own. Enjoy!

    Lucy, You have a rhubarb patch. I'm so jealous...

    cookiecrumb, No, I did not see the sugar story. I fear it was serious and relevant. I would never have guessed that rhubarb wasn't your thing.

    alison, A boatload of rhubarb, how fabulous. And open-faced tart -- yum.

    nadine, I've seen it in a vase and it is quite striking, but it is also very good for eating. I think of it as more tart than sour, and yes, just add a little sugar. Let me know if you come up with something good.

    Anna Emilia, I hope your ice is melting and rhubarb growing.

    Annie, I don't know how that slipper is still there. I walk past the park almost every day and wonder how it ever arrived and why the gardener has not removed it. It is very strange.

  18. A recipe I will print out and try for I have such a weakness for rhubarb. I have just turned away from a kitchen failure for a spot of blogging as my try of Anzac biscuits cool. Am consoling self that burnt crumbs will make good possum food for the family of ringtails.

  19. Gracia, I have a weakness for rhubarb too, a big weakness. I'm sure the family of ringtails will be pleased.

  20. I need to try this for sure—it sounds delicious.

  21. And I'm very glad you're at it again! I can't wait to be at it, myself.

  22. You are a good friend to rhubarb. Me, not so much. Maybe I should try this...I know my husband would love it. Hope all is well!

  23. This looks delicious. I love rhubarb--it's the perfect Springtime taste, sweet and tart at the same time.

  24. I just did a rhubarb blood orange jam and it was stellar! I love hearing about your rhubarb exploits!

  25. Julia, I should do a jam so I can keep some for those out-of-season cravings. My last two batches have been so good and super simple. Rhubarb, mandarin (zest + juice), sugar, and fresh ground nutmeg -- served over Greek yogurt.