Sunday, April 22, 2012

Rabarbermoes

As soon as we come out of the cold winter months, the first signs of spring (and of good eating) are on their way. Peultjes, or peas, are carefully poking their head out of the soil, and regardless of whether the IJsheiligen (the ice saints, more about these frosty figures later!) decide to freeze these first garden treasures or not, some vegetables are hardy enough to enjoy the cooler temperatures.

Rhubarb is one of those old-fashioned, ubiquitous vegetables that grows abundantly in fields, near homes and in gardens all over the country. It's a hardy plant that appeared on the Dutch gardening panorama in the early 1900s, and consequently showed up in the kitchen, although in a very limited variety: mainly as a side dish, jam, a compote or as a moes, or sauce.

Although rhubarb is an acquired taste, many do like the tangy, slightly astringent flavor. As a side dish, the stalks (either green or red, depending on the variety) are simmered down into a stringy, tangy supersour vegetable moes and served either cold or warm with potatoes and meat. Not everybody's favorite choice of vegetable, I am sure, but rhubarb is supposedly very healthy, so there you go.

Sugar or other sweeteners like strawberries or pineapple are added during the preparation of jam, compote or sauce to add some additional flavor, although some will eat the stalk straight off the plant, often with a dash of salt. The leaves are poisonous, only the stalk is edible.

Rhubarb sauce can be made by itself or with the sweet combination of strawberries, like in today's moes. Try pouring the sauce warm or cold over hangop, yoghurt, or make into a fruit vlaai. A thicker sauce can be achieved by slowly simmering away some of the moisture, and can make a great rhubarb jam for beschuit or a slice of bread !

Rabarbermoes
2 lbs rhubarb stalks
2 cups strawberries
1/2 cup sugar
Pinch of salt

Wash and cut the rhubarb stalks into one inch pieces. Wash the strawberries, hull and slice them. Add the rhubarb and the strawberries to a Dutch oven or thick bottomed pan, add the sugar and salt, and toss. Pour half a cup of water in the pan, and slowly bring to a simmer. Cover the pot, and let the mixture simmer for twenty minutes, making sure the sauce doesn't burn.

When the rhubarb breaks up into stringy pieces, the sauce is done. Taste. Adjust the sweetness if necessary.

If you want jam, thicken the sauce with pectine according to the instructions on the package.



2 comments:

  1. In cups about how much is 2 pounds?

    ReplyDelete

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