27 Dec Spring Forward
Hearing the term ‘spring forward’ so much lately has me daydreaming about the day that it actually starts to feel like spring. Many of my daydreams tend to have a food related theme and one that I can’t escape right now is the longing for the day that delicious fresh summery seasonal fruits and vegetables are available again. Lighter, juicier, crispier. I love when that need for warm comfort food makes way for things that I can eat generous portions of without feeling weighed down and guilty. Spring also means that the Portland Farmer’s Markets will be opening and I can have all of the local, seasonal, and sustainably farmed produce that I crave on the ready. I’ve promised myself that this year I will do the majority of my grocery shopping in this manner and try to branch out from what I may be typically comfortable with and buy what is really and truly at its peak. This will consequently force me to try new things and seek out recipes and different preparation methods. One vegetable that I have always been a little hesitant to try working with is rhubarb. It grows well in Oregon and should be in season starting in April. Of course, I have no idea what to do with rhubarb and only have ever really heard of it being used in pies. This lead me to snap out of the daydream for a minute and go on a little internet hunt to find out some other tasty, spring-time appropriate uses for the strange fruit-like veggie. I have to admit I was pretty excited to find a recipe that was not only obviously intended for the warmer days ahead, but also seems really simple for a rhubarb amateur like me.
3 cups thinly sliced rhubarb
4 tblsp. honey
zest of 1 orange
Trim and finely slice the rhubarb. Place in a saucepan on low to medium heat. Add the orange zest and and half of the honey. Cover and set aside for 3 hours.
Cook the ingredients stirring occasionally until the rhubarb is very tender and all ingredients are well mixed. Let cool for 10 minutes, and add the remaining honey. When cooled enough, puree in a blender.
Pour the mixture into a suitable container for the freezer. When firm around the edges, give the rhubarb mixture a stir. Continue mixing well, and put back into the freezer.
Serve in small scoops.
I am anxiously awaiting the day the outdoor market in my neighborhood opens, so I can make this dreamy sorbet. Here are the opening dates for the Portland Farmer’s Markets:
Portland State University March 9th
King May 1st
Shemanski Park May 4th
Buckman May 5th
NW 23rd June 2nd
Pioneer Courthouse Square June 20th
For more information the website is www.portlandfarmersmarket.org
Dominee Cagle, Spa Director at PDX