The rhubarb has been waiting patiently for me.
Just before running out the door to catch my plane out of Comox, I remembered the rhubarb. Dad rushed out to cut me some big, happy stalks. We pushed them into a plastic bag, and carefully laid them in my carry-on next to the kale and stinging nettles.
That was the end of April.
Since then I have planned a live radio show on board a streetcar and gone to Saskatoon to celebrate my sixth wedding anniversary. It's been a busy few weeks.
But, as I mentioned, the rhubarb has been a model vegetable,* quietly waiting at the back of the fridge.
Yesterday, I chopped it up and turned it into a slightly-sweet, ruby-red syrup.
In other words: spring in a jar.
I make this syrup every spring because it's such a nice way to process rhubarb and looks so pretty. It's also incredibly easy – about 20 minutes from stalky start to syrupy finish.
What to do with the syrup?
Well, it would be a darn good excuse to make panna cotta. I also like it drizzled on a dollop of thick Greek yogurt. And, in just three days, the weekend will be here and we'll try it dibbled on pancakes.
|bonus photo: this is rhubarb just pushing out of the ground in February|
Really, you could spoon it over anything . . . what food isn't happier with a bit of pink syrup on top?
*You may call rhubarb a fruit. That's OK, too.
one year ago: mango love on oahu
two years ago: dutch marzipan cookies
three years ago: putting asparagus on pizza and chocolate nut balls
slightly adapted from Canadian Living
makes about 1 cup / 225 ml syrup
500 mL (2 c.) fresh or frozen rhubarb, chopped
125 mL (1/2 c.) white sugar
125 mL (1/2 c.) water
1 strip lemon peel
Put all the ingredients in a pot with a heavy bottom. Bring to a light boil over medium-high heat. Turn the heat down a bit so it can simmer comfortably and stir every so often. Cook until the rhubarb has broken up, but isn't a dead pulp, 8 – 10 minutes.
Strain through cheesecloth or a fine-mesh sieve suspended over a bowl. If you like your syrup a bit thicker, return the syrup to a clean pot and simmer for 8 – 10 minutes. It will reach the consistency of maple syrup once it's cooled. (Simmer it longer if you want it even thicker; but don't simmer it so long that it loses its fresh flavour.)
Cool and refrigerate. Keeps for at least a week. Lovely on yogurt, panna cotta, anything that needs a little injection of spring.