I know I still have approximately two months to savor, but in this city where gray and precipitation all too frequently prevail, the summer never seems long enough. There are so many elements of summer I would like to preserve and stretch into the next season(s):
– the ease of slipping on my worn out Toms and taking my Julep for a walk in the sunshine, or on late night strolls when the air is just a tad cooler, and the city glows.
-the way tomatoes never make it to the stove or oven because I consume their summer sweetness straight from the container
-open windows, fluttering curtains
-waking up to natural light flooding through said open windows
-taking pictures late into the evening with the abundance of natural light
In lieu of stretching summer far into fall, and fall far into winter, I made an attempt to stretch the season of one of summer’s greatest gifts: rhubarb!
What began as an unexpected prize for arriving late at the farmers market (“sure, I’ll take those wilty looking stalks!”), transpired into a layer in a baked French toast, a pairing for cheese and baguette slices, a slathering on morning toast, muffins for a morning meeting, a fruitful accent to scoops of vanilla bean ice cream, and so on and so forth. The potential for rhubarb compote, unlike the season in which it grows, is quite endless!
Local Rhubarb Compote
1 3/4 pounds local rhubarb, ends trimmed, cut crosswise into 3/4-inch pieces (about 6 cups or 12-15 long stalks)
1 cup organic evaporated cane sugar
1 piece (1 inch) fresh, peeled ginger, finely grated
1/3 cup red wine (I used Malbec)
Stir together rhubarb and sugar in a large saucepan (off heat); let stand until rhubarb releases some liquid, about 10 minutes.
Bring rhubarb mixture, grated ginger, and red wine to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat; simmer, stirring occasionally, until rhubarb has broken down but some whole pieces remain, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat.
Let sauce cool completely before serving.
Here’s to Savoring & Stretching the Tart Sweetness of the Season!