Every year in early summer, there comes the day when I walk through the produce section and suddenly see the pretty, red, familiar stalks. And every year, resistance is futile. They are coming home with me! Here in the US, rhubarb is usually paired with strawberries. Now, there is nothing wrong with that, but I believe rhubarb really has no need to share the spotlight with anyone else. Acknowledging the fact that most people, including yours truly, feel the need to temper its tartness somewhat, this vegetable (yes, it’s true – it really is a veggie) provides us with vitamins C and K, and is shock full of potassium, calcium and fiber. Aside from the sugar, it’s really quite the nutritional boost! Like asparagus and garlic spears – in its own way, rhubarb signifies summer in our house. In my native Sweden, rhubarb compote (rabarberkräm) is an essential treat in late spring. My kids like to eat it for breakfast and snack too. This is how you make it:
1 quart fresh or frozen rhubarb, sliced
4 dl water
1 dl sugar
3 tbsp potato starch
Clean and cut the rubarb in small pieces. If the skin is tough, peel if first. Bring sugar and water to boil. Add the rhubarb and cook until soft – about 3 – 4 minutes. Dissolve the potato starch in a little cold water. Remove the pot from the heat. Slowly add the water/starch mixture while continuously stirring. Once thoroughly mixed in, put back on the stove and bring to a quick boil. Pour into serving bowl and sprinkle a little sugar on top. This will prevent an unappetizing skin from forming on the surface. Let it cool. Serve cool or cold with milk or half- and-half. Trust me – it tastes just like summer!