This week's treat brings a whole new meaning to eating fresh, local and seasonal foods as the Rhubarb I used was picked directly from the gardens of Dad and my aunt Sheree in the last few days! The other main ingredient, maple syrup, also came from my Dad's 'farm' located in the Ottawa Valley; I travelled up there for a fast and furious 24 hour retreat with my older brother and nephew this past week (and clearly I stocked up on all the goods)! Stewed rhubarb is one of my favourite summer treats because it is super quick and easy to make and features both a sweet and slightly bitter combination of tastes that is pretty unique. It is delicious on its own, but also pairs perfectly with vanilla ice cream or custard or the 'clean' alternative Chia seed pudding!
In Canada, Rhubarb typically grows (i.e. is in-season) from late spring to mid-summer, and although it is not technically a fruit, Rhubarb is often 'treated' that way in the kitchen, commonly being used as a main ingredient in pies (e.g. Strawberry Rhubarb Pie, My brother's favourite) and sweet desserts (such as today's recipe). One VERY important thing to note: the leaves are actually quite poisonous (so dispose of them promptly) and although the stalks are less so, it is generally advised that rhubarb should not be consumed raw, so don't sample it upon harvest!
DO NOT EAT THE RAW RHUBARB!
If you buy rhubarb at a farmer's market, typically the leaves will already be removed. In order to prepare the stalks for use in your favourite recipes you chop off the pinkish portion at the bottom of the stalk and peel off the outermost layer of skin. You can then cut the stalk into bite-sized pieces that can be used for making a variety of sweet summer treats or frozen for later use! This is actually the first step in today's recipe (sourced from Family Food Adventures), so here we go!
- 4 cups of rhubarb, cut into bite-sized pieces
- 1/3 cup of water (or enough to just cover the rhubarb in the pot)
- 1/4 cup of maple syrup
- Place all ingredients in a small or medium pot and bring to a boil
- Reduce heat immediately and allow to simmer for 30 minutes, stirring only occasionally
- Allow to cool before serving
Thats it, thats all! Super easy, unbelievably tasty and the perfect finisher to a summer Sunday's dinner! Enjoy!