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Spring means rhubarb, and just that word RHUBARB conjures all kinds of memories for me. In Iowa where I grew up, we had stalks of rhubarb that grew abundantly without tending in our yard. My mother simply stewed it or served it fairly plain. My Aunt Esther, however, made THE most delicious rhubarb pie on the face of the earth; even though I have her supposedly authentic recipe, my pie never tastes the same as hers did… I love pie, but it takes a lot of forethought and a bit more effort than my simple rhubarb dessert. My family has left the nest so an entire pie doesn’t work for us unless we have company.
So, I’ve concocted a simple stewed, reduced rhubarb sauce that I serve topped with sweetened, rich, full fat (YAY) Greek yogurt. Ellenos yogurt is king – or should I say queen – at our house in Seattle. It’s a local company and they have a counter at my fish market, Uwajimaya. I make the trek there weekly not only to purchase fish but to replenish yogurt and I prefer the plain, unsweetened variety so I can add pureed fruit or honey or vanilla myself.
This recipe begins with a simple, honey-sweetened, stewed rhubarb – reduced to thicken it a bit. I refrigerate the thickened sauce and later add some lemon juice and pomegranate molasses.
When ready to serve, I whisk some plain, unsweetened yogurt with a bit of powdered sugar – another sweetener would make it beige and I like the white color. I don’t make it too sweet. I’m ready to use this whisked, sweetened yogurt for my crisps and pies as well.
For some reason the play of the tart rhubarb against the creamy, not-too-sweet yogurt is perfect for me. I often slice fresh seasonal strawberries on top, add a mint leaf and VOILA. This is my kind of dessert: not too sweet, not too rich, but just right. Trust me, this is better than a scoop of ice cream.
Stewed Rhubarb with Yogurt and Berries
- 4 cups of rhubarb (discard the leaves) chopped into ½-inch pieces
- ⅓ cup honey
- 2 Tbsp of water
- 2 tablespoons pomegranate molasses
- ½ teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 cup full-fat plain unsweetened Greek yogurt
- ¼ cup confectioners’ (powdered) sugar, add slowly to taste
- Fresh berries of your choice
In a medium saucepan, stir together the rhubarb, honey and water. Bring to a boil, then cover and reduce heat. Stir every five minutes until the rhubarb softens for a total of about 10 to 15 minutes.
Uncover the pan and cook for 10 more minutes, until the sauce is thick. Transfer the rhubarb to a glass bowl, cover it and refrigerate until it is cold.
Before serving (you can do this the day ahead) dump the yogurt in a medium bowl, and quickly whisk while slowly adding powdered sugar. Stop and taste it so it is to your liking – a little sweet but not cloying. You can add more powdered sugar if you like it on the sweeter side.
When ready to serve, add the pomegranate molasses and lemon juice to the refrigerated rhubarb.
Spoon a half cup of the rhubarb into the bottom of a saucer, top with a half cup of the whipped, sweetened yogurt and top with sliced berries and garnish with mint leaves if desired.
PS: I recently read that yogurt can be frozen and I tried it out the last time I left for a long trip. By Jimminy, it was thawed and stirred and consumed and tasted as good as the fresh. Useful information I just had to pass along!