Tag Archives | rhubarb

Honey Sweetened Rhubarb Meyer Lemon Cordial

Celebrating the arrival of summer this holiday weekend? Toast the season with a glass of bubbly water or a fancy grown-up cocktail sweetened with this Honey Sweetened Rhubarb Meyer Lemon Cordial.

A finished bottle of honey sweetened rhubarb meyer lemon cordial.

One of the constants of my culinary calendar is rhubarb syrup. I make a batch or two every spring when those rosy stalks show up at my local farmers market. Some years, I make a basic version with nothing more than rhubarb, sugar, and water. Other times, I’ve spiked my batches with ginger, rosemary, vanilla, or parsley.

Stalks of rhubarb for honey sweetened rhubarb meyer lemon cordial.

This year’s version (which I’m officially calling Honey Sweetened Rhubarb Meyer Lemon Cordial) is made from diced rhubarb, honey, and thinly sliced rounds of Meyer lemon (regular lemon would also work).

Chopped rhubarb for honey sweetened rhubarb meyer lemon cordial.

One of the things I love about making rhubarb syrup is that it barely feels like work. It takes no time to chop the rhubarb, slice the lemon, and measure out the water and honey. As long as you remember to reduce the heat to medium-low after it comes to a simmer, you hardly even need to stir it.

Rhubarb and lemon slices in a pot for honey sweetened rhubarb meyer lemon cordial.

After about 20 minutes on the stove, I turn off the heat and let it cool just long enough that there’s no chance that I’ll burn myself as I pour it through a strainer. In the past, I’ve used cheesecloth for an extra-smooth syrup, but these days I cannot be bothered with the mess that it causes. In this case, fully embrace the path of imperfection.

Straining cooked rhubarb for honey sweetened rhubarb meyer lemon cordial.

Once the syrup is fully strained, it goes into a bottle and into the fridge. Rhubarb is acidic enough that one could can the finished product, but I find that I prefer to make this in small enough batches to be used up within a few weeks. I add it to sparkling water, drizzle it over bowls of fruit salad, and combine it with white wine vinegar and olive oil for a quick salad dressing.

Side view of straining honey sweetened rhubarb meyer lemon cordial.

How are you preserving and transforming rhubarb these days?

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Mastery Challenge: Rhubarb Pickles

When I see the first harvests of rhubarb hitting farmers’ market tables among still-puny bunches of kale and last season’s root crops, I feel a surge of hope: spring is really, actually happening.

I also think of my maternal grandmother, an almost-nun turned feminist firebrand and mother of 11 who kept a huge vegetable garden — including a big patch of rhubarb — at her house in Quebec when I was a kid. Granny is the reason I turn my nose up at strawberry-rhubarb anything: her lip-puckering, sweet-tart treatment of the ingredient served straight up in pie, cobbler, and roly-poly became my standard and favorite for fruity baked goods.

As an adult, I’ve tried to do more with rhubarb than dessert, but no recipe I’ve come across that didn’t involve sweet, buttery dough has ever really seemed like it would be worth the trouble to try. So when this month’s Mastery Challenge came around during rhubarb season, I decided to give it the cold-pack pickle treatment.

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Links: Rhubarb, Blueberries, and a Winner

rows of strawberries

Last week’s trip to Chicago was so terrific. I did seven events in six days, caught up with friends, helped raise money for the Ferrer Foundation, and met so many of you lovely folks. I got home on Saturday morning, and have spent the last 36 hours doing laundry, catching up with work, and spending time with my husband (he’s such a good sport about my frequent travels). Now, links!

Perfect Pickle Sampler 640

The winner of last week’s Mrs. Wages giveaway is #161/Lily Walbridge.

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Low Sugar Blackberry Rhubarb Jam

three jars of low sugar blackberry rhubarb jam on a bench

Lately, Trader Joe’s had been selling 12 ounce containers of blackberries for right around $3.50. For those of you who live in the Pacific Northwest, it might seem crazy to pay for good money for blackberries since come August, they’re going to be everywhere. But for those of us who live in less blackberry-rich environs, this is a very good price.

blackberries, rhubarb, and sugar in a pot before being cooked into jam

As a result, I’ve been making lots of preserves with blackberries. I did a batch scented with lavender, and another batch with cinnamon and nutmeg, like my mom always makes. I also did this low sugar blackberry rhubarb jam, encouraged by an email from a reader who asked if I’d ever done such a combination).

I really love how it turned out. Tangy from the rhubarb, rich from the berries, and just sweet enough with a relatively small amount of sugar. If you wanted to make this jam with honey rather than with sugar, reduce the amount to 1 cup and save 1/3 a cup to add at the end with the pectin.

a close up of two jars of low sugar blackberry rhubarb jam

Oh, and if you don’t want to spring for blackberries now, but can get them at a better price later in the season, you can still make this jam. Just chop up a pound of rhubarb now, put it in a ziptop bag, and tuck it into the freezer until August. Frozen rhubarb behaves beautifully in jams.

Finally, if this jam doesn’t float your boat, I’ve got a couple other blackberry recipes in the archives. Perhaps my classic Blackberry Jam or this Blackberry Apricot Jam will float your boat!

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Links: Strawberries, Rhubarb, and Winners

Half of yesterday strawberries have become a big batch of low sugar strawberry vanilla jam. #foodinjars #strawberries #localproduce

This last weekend was a good one. On Saturday morning, I wandered my favorite farmers market and turned a flat of berries into batches of strawberry vanilla jam and strawberry butter. Annelies stayed with us on Saturday night and we went out for a unhurried brunch this morning. A few hours after she left, I picked my dear friend Andrea up at the train station. We met the very first day of college and have been close ever since. She lives in Southern California, so we don’t get to see each other often, but whenever we do, it’s as if no time has passed. Now, links!

The winners in last week’s Candy in a Jar giveaway are #33/Alicia, #86/Madeleine, and #104/Sandy. Thanks to all who shared their favorite sweet preserves!

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Roasted Rhubarb and Strawberry Compote + OXO GreenSaver

shipped rhubarb

A couple months ago, I started hearing some positive buzz about the new OXO GreenSaver containers. I like to keep a variety of greens on hand for smoothies and salads but it’s always something of a race against time to eat them before they get turn slimy. More often than I care to admit, I’ve pitched the last quarter of a bag because it’s gotten too funky to be good.

rhubarb in the greensaver

In an attempt to waste less, I bought myself the medium GreenSaver and started packing it full of greens as soon as I got them home from the grocery store. After the first week, I was a believer (hallelujah!). Those greens stayed good days longer than they would have if stored in bags in the crisper drawer. Week after week, I used up every last spinach leaf and arugula tendril.

The way the GreenSaver works is that the filter pack absorbs the ethylene gas that ripening produce releases, while improving airflow around the produce, and helping control the humidity in the container (the door the holds the filter pack in place slides back and forth to help either retain or release the moisture).

rhubard after 1 week

So, when I got an email from OXO, saying they were looking for bloggers to participate in a campaign they were running with Melissa’s Produce featuring the GreenSaver containers and an assortment of seasonal produce, I submitted my name for consideration (since I was among the converted).

I danced a small jig when I heard I was picked and waited anxiously for a large GreenSaver and a bundle of rhubarb to arrive.

rhubarb strawberries sugar

Now, this is not the first time in my life that I’ve received produce in the mail as part of some blog campaign. Typically I clear my schedule when I know fruit is arriving, because I know it’s going to need to be used within a fairly short window of time.

In this case, the point was to store the rhubarb for a bit in order to prove the efficacy of the GreenSaver so when it arrived on May 15, I simply trimmed the stalks down enough so that they’d fit in the container and popped them in the fridge.

roasted rhubarb and strawberries

There they sat until the following Thursday. I could have let them go longer, but we were headed out for the long weekend and I wanted to couple those rhubarb stalks with some strawberries and they weren’t going to last until we got back.

After a week in the GreenSaver, the rhubarb was in amazingly good shape. It had aged some, but had it been stored in a plastic bag it would have been unusable (just a few weeks back, I’d neglected some rhubarb in the crisper and it molded and liquified after a five days. It was tragic).

roasted rhubarb and strawberries side of jar

I trimmed the rhubarb into lengths of about 2 inches long and quartered the strawberries. I tossed the fruit with a scant half-cup of cane sugar and rubbed the seeds from a split vanilla bean into the mess.

The pan went into a 350 degree oven and the fruit roasted for 20 to 25 minutes. I like the rhubarb to have retain some structural integrity and so pull it out when it has softened but before it fully disintegrates.

roasted rhubarb in a jar

I like to eat this rustic compote with plain yogurt and a sprinkle of simple granola (Cheryl’s nutmeg crunch would be good too). It’s also good as a topper for oatmeal, pancakes, waffles, and french toast. Hey, I wouldn’t judge if you ate it straight out of the pan (I may have done a bit of that myself).

For more information about OXO GreenSavers, visit their website. If you long for rhubarb and live in a place where it’s hard to come by, Melissa’s Produce has got you covered.

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