Maybe it is rhubarb’s subtle pink hue or its surprisingly sweet-yet-tart flavor profile… either way, anytime it crosses our path we’ve got to have a bite. Our rhubarb obsession is not something we take lightly either. We’ve eaten it in tarts and crumbles, shaken it into cocktails, thrown it into salads, dared to press it into our seasonal juices and have made epic rhubarb recipe roundups too. And word of our adoration for this leafy stalk is getting around town too – we’re even getting text messages alerting us to its whereabouts. Rather than seeking help for the fixation, further indulgence is required instead. Next on our list is this Rhubarb Parfait from Diana Yen’s A Simple Feast. Layered with some of our favorite farmers market picks, this recipe embodies what we love most about Diana’s cookbook – a creative and refreshing approach to cooking seasonally with elegance. Here’s Diana…
In the early spring, rhubarb is a hot commodity at the farmers’ market – its season is brief and it’s a sign of warmer weather to come. Crisp and tart, rhubarb awakens the taste buds that winter held hostage and lends itself perfectly to spring and summer appetites.
Rhubarb is commonly simmered with sugar and made into a filling for pie, but here we were thinking outside the crust and decided upon a parfait instead. Married with lemon, the rhubarb’s tart edge is brightened, creating a beautifully flavored and pink-kissed compote. This compote would be equally lovely served alongside a selection of local cheeses, stewed into a sauce, or served with a scoop of ice cream.
Gingered Rhubarb and Mascarpone Parfait
1 lb rhubarb, peeled and cut into 1⁄2-inch pieces
2 cups Gewürztraminer or sweet Riesling wine
1 cup granulated sugar
one 3-inch piece ginger, sliced
peel of 1 lemon
1 cup mascarpone cheese, at room temperature
1 Tbsp confectioners’ sugar
grated zest and juice of 1 orange
1 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped
1 cup granola (I like Nature’s Path Granola)
2 Tbsp pistachios, toasted and chopped
Preheat the oven to 400°F.
Place the rhubarb, wine, granulated sugar, ginger and lemon peel in a 9 x 13-inch baking dish and gently toss to combine. Place in the oven and bake for 45 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside.
In a medium bowl, combine the mascarpone, confectioners’ sugar, orange zest and juice, and the seeds from the vanilla bean and stir until well combined.
Create 4 parfaits by layering the ingredients in glasses in the following order: rhubarb compote, mascarpone cream, and granola. Garnish with pistachios and serve.
From A Simple Feast by Diana Yen, © 2014 by the Jewels of New York Group, LLC. Reprinted by arrangement with Roost Books, an imprint of Shambhala Publications Inc., Boston, MA.