I didn’t know rhubarb would grow so tall. I didn’t know about its fluttering flowers and fleeting stalks. Or the shameless pink of its overground roots. It is satisfying to pull from the ground. I’m amazed at how prolific it is. It definitely maximizes its all-too-brief season. It is raw, tart and green tasting. It pairs well with strawberries. I knew that. It apparently freezes well, but this is its time in the sun. So let’s make the most of it!
This dessert requires very little cooking. Stir up the components, spoon them into a parchment paper pouch, bake and serve over yogurt or ice cream with honey and nuts. The interplay of temperatures and textures is a delicious treat at any backyard barbeque or sophisticated summer dinner party under the stars. String up some lanterns between trees and light votive candles in mismatched teacups. Make simple food from what is local and lovely. What a wonderful way to spend three glorious months. It’s why we love living in Maine all Summer.
Vanilla-Roasted Rhubarb and Strawberries
- 4 rhubarb stalks, cut into 2″ pieces
- 12 strawberries, hulled and halved
- 1/4 cup bourbon
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise, seeds removed, cut into four pieces
- Greek yogurt
- Chopped pistachios
Preheat oven to 425 F. Combine rhubarb, strawberries, bourbon, sugar, and vanilla bean in a medium bowl. Spoon mixture into four 16 x 12″ pieces of parchment paper and fold or crimp the edges to close into a purse. Bake on a baking sheet, 10-15 minutes. Carefully open packets and transfer contents into bowls. Serve with a dollop of Greek yogurt, a generous drizzle of honey, and chopped pistachios.
You can also make packets with heavy-duty aluminum foil and cook them on the grill over medium flame. Peach or blueberry ice cream would be a delightful, and sweeter alternative to the tart yogurt.