MINT-INFUSED STRAWBERRY RHUBARB PARFAIT W/ ORGANIC GREEK YOGURT
Rhubarb? Yes, tart and sweet. What a combination. But I don't feel brave enough to cook it at home. Why? Not sure. Too complicated maybe and if done wrong, potentially toxic I heard.
It is so silly of me to assume based on bits and pieces picked up without having proper knowledge. So my favorite local spot, Monterey Market in Berkeley, gave me the gentle yet decisive push I needed. After loading up on plump tomatoes, peaches, loads of fava beans and juicy blueberries, I turned the corner, aiming for some fresh ginger roots. And there they were, laying comfortably and right at eye level. Loads of slender Rhubarb stalks. I could feel their stare. The long crimson red sticks reminded me of Rachel's organic rhubarb yogurt I would eat [daily] in London. And I could see sheet cakes and pies layered with this tasty 'fruit'. Those take the main stage in German cafes and bakeries during the summer months. It's sweet tartness is one of my kind of flavors. It is hard to find outside of its short spring season. Yes, Monterey Market didn't let me leave without a couple of rhubarbs gently stuffed in my bags. They were now proudly smiling at me. They won and I had a plan in my head.
So first I learned about this not fruit but VEGETABLE.
Yes, rhubarb is not a fruit. However it is prepared as if it was one most of the times. In this Northern hemisphere it is harvested in the spring. Its leaves are poisonous, so always cut them off. Get rid of them. The rest of the plant, basically the crimson red or sometimes light green stalk is harmless and edible. Rhubarb is predominantly broiled and spiced, then consumed as compote or jam. And pardon my German-ish spelling of compote or Kompot. In Chinese culture rhubarb plays an important role in medicine. It has laxative and cathartic substances, and therefore can be used as a dietary aid.
Making the compote is so simple and your kitchen will smell like a fruity summer cocktail while preparing it. I paired the rhubarb with strawberries. Both are in season now and fully enhance each-other.
Ripe strawberries [sweet and juicy] + Rhubarb's bite and texture = zesty kick. A perfect match.
Here is how to enjoy this mixture:
INGREDIENTS FOR COMPOTE:
This will make one full or two half filled 16 ounce mason jars of compote. Keep refrigerated.
- 2 large stalks of rhubarb. No leaves. Washed. Cut into 2-inch pieces
- 1 pound of fresh organic strawberries. Nicely ripened for full flavor, washed and quartered.
- A medium sized saucepan
- 1 Tablespoon of water
- 2 (up to 3) Tablespoons of honey. I normally choose raw honey but this time I used Wild Berry honey we brought back from our camping trip to Yosemite last weekend. The berry infused flavor paired well with the other ingredients.
Add fruits and water to the pan and bring to a boil. Add in honey and let simmer for 15 minutes or until fruits have completely softened and your mixture is a good blend of smooth, yet still a little chunky. Let it cool and fill into mason jar(s). Refrigerate up to one week.
MINT-INFUSED STRAWBERRY RHUBARB PARFAIT W/ GREEK YOGURT
ADDED INGREDIENTS: Serves 2
- 2 cups of plain organic greek yogurt
- Roasted almond slivers or any kind of almonds (sliced, chopped) will be fine
- A hand full of fresh sweet mint leaves
In 2 serving glasses, divide greek yogurt. Add chilled Strawberry Rhubarb Compote to your base of plain greek yogurt. Top with sliced roasted almonds and/or fresh strawberries, and a few fresh mint leaves. Chill for an hour if you like.
And For a Dairy Free Option:
MINT-INFUSED STRAWBERRY RHUBARB PARFAIT W/ CHIA PUDDING
Mix one cup of unsweetened almond milk with 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract. Whisk in 1/3 cups of Chia seeds. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours or over night. It will thicken like a pudding. For serving, layer a generous amount of Chia pudding in a serving bowl or glass, top with rhubarb strawberry compote and sliced almonds. Give it the final touch with fresh mint leaves and fresh berries.