In The Kitchen Ecosystem (Clarkson Potter, 2014), Eugenia Bone explains the paradox of great meals: the more you cook, the less you actually have to do to produce delicious food. By starting with the freshest ingredients you can find and preserving and harnessing leftover components to use in future dishes, all you have to do is choose a main ingredient and you can rustle up a meal. The following recipe is from "Rhubarb."
You can purchase this book from the MOTHER EARTH NEWS store: The Kitchen Ecosystem.
This is the simplest preserve, just rhubarb cooked with sugar. It is loose and perfect for dessert, served plain or with whipped cream and garnished with blanched, toasted almonds. I’ve used the stewed rhubarb to make ice cream sundaes (with whipped cream and toasted almonds) and mixed it with gelatin. Red rhubarb maintains its color well, though processing does fade the color some. Green rhubarb, which tastes the same as red rhubarb, cooks to a pinkish brown color. To help maintain the color, you can add chopped strawberries. Save the steaming liquid for rhubarb stock or drink it warm mixed with honey.
• 2-1/2 cups chopped red rhubarb (about 3/4 pound)
• 1/4 cup chopped strawberries (optional)
• 1/2 cup sugar (or more to taste)
1. In a steamer, steam the rhubarb over 2 cups of boiling water until soft, 3 to 4 minutes.
2. In a large pot, combine the rhubarb, strawberries (if using), and sugar. Bring to a boil over medium heat and then take off the heat.
3. Have ready 2 clean half-pint jars and bands, and new lids that have been simmered in hot water to soften the rubberized flange.
4. Pour the stewed fruit into the jars leaving 1/2 inch of headroom. Wipe the rims, place on the lids, and screw on the bands fingertip tight.
5. Process the jars in a water bath for 15 minutes. (If you make a bigger batch of stewed rhubarb, you can put it up in pints or quarts; the processing time will be the same.) Be sure to make altitude adjustments when preserving.
6. There may be some discoloring of the fruit at the top of the jar over time. It’s okay.
More Recipes from The Kitchen Ecosystem:
Reprinted from The Kitchen Ecosystem: Integrating Recipes to Create Delicious Meals. Copyright © 2014 by Eugenia Bone. Photographs copyright © 2014 by Ben Fink. Published by Clarkson Potter, an imprint of Random House, LLC. Buy this book from our store: The Kitchen Ecosystem.