Spring can have that effect. The sudden pops of color against the muted background of yards and open spaces shrouded in winter slumber. First the brave violet and canary yellow crocus burst forth. Now daffodils line pathways and chartreuse buds appear on trees.
Soon enough the evergreen piles of kale and chard will be in sharp contrast to the electric pinks of rhubarb stalks.
Rhubarb is not difficult to prepare. It’s tart, vegetal flavor makes it harder to love at first. With the right handling beautiful flavors can be coaxed out of this early spring plant. One of the most straightforward preparations is to gently poach the chopped stalks. This can be done in a simple vanilla syrup spiked with orange zest. It has the added bonus of filling the house with a heavenly scent.
- Cane Sugar
- Orange, 1 zested
- Vanilla paste, 1t
Simple syrup is a 1:1 ratio of sugar:water. Dissolve the sugar in the water over medium heat. Add the orange zest,vanilla paste., and chopped rhubarb. Bring syrup back to a simmer. Turn off the heat when the rhubarb is knife tender. This will only take a few minutes.
Enjoy the rhubarb over yogurt or ice cream. It heralds the changing of the season and warmer weather to come.