I’ve long been scared of rhubarb; is it a fruit or a vegetable? And exactly which parts are poisonous? But this week – despite my trepidation – those ruby red stalks called to me at the farmers market. So I did some research: rhubarb is technically a vegetable but mostly treated as a fruit, and only those teensy leaves at the top of the stalk (which are usually removed before sale) are poisonous. The stalks can be eaten raw or cooked and – like most produce – are a great source of Vitamin C.
Rhubarb appears in late spring/early summer and pairs well with most every berry. Here, rhubarb is cooked down with strawberries, honey and mint to make a tangy dessert.
A few notes: this recipe makes a pint of sorbet; multiply the quantities if you’re feeding a crowd. If you don’t have an ice cream maker, you can make equally delicious popsicles from the chilled mixture. Also, you can adjust the ratio of strawberries to rhubarb as you like – just make sure you’re using four cups of fruit.
3 cups chopped rhubarb
1 cup chopped strawberries
1 cup water
1/2 cup honey plus more if needed
2 tablespoons chopped mint
1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1. In a medium pot, combine the rhubarb, strawberries, water, mint and honey. Bring to a boil, then simmer until the mixture is thick and syrupy and fruit has broken down – about 10 minutes.
2. Using an immersion blender, puree the mixture til smooth (if you don’t have an immersion, a regular blender will work just fine). Taste, and add more honey if desired.
3. Cover the mixture and transfer to refrigerator until completely chilled – atleast 4 hours.
4. Pour mixture into an ice cream maker and freeze according to manufacturer’s directions. Serve immediately or freeze in an airtight container.