Stewed Rhubarb with Honeyed Mascarpone

Do you remember the bunch of rhubarb from my garden? The one mentioned here. Well, it has finally been turned into something. Something really tasty, refreshing and very, very summery: stewed rhubarb. That, incidentally, has been turned into an article on Honest Cooking as well (bear with me: I’ll talk about HC now and then in this blog).

Well, those of you who happen to have visited or who are lucky enough to live in England have surely tasted, at least once in your life, stewed rhubarb or rhubarb jam. This pink-stalked, slightly tart and refreshing vegetable is the perfect ingredient for an incredible amount of desserts: tarts, pies, crumbles, puddings, jams. I clearly remember the very first time I tasted rhubarb: my aunt from England had packed some stalks she had picked from her mother’s garden in her suitcase. She stewed them together with orange and had made the most delicious tart I had ever had in all my life. This happened at least fifteen years ago or even more. Since then, rhubarb has become my secret love. Of course, like in any complicated relationship, we have had our problems.

Stewed rhubarb is probably the least Italian dish in the world. Though you can find rhubarb in the form of cough-drops as bitter as gall (blah!), it is almost impossible to find fresh rhubarb stalks on markets, unless you live in the deepest Northern Italy. For those like me who live south of the Apennines, there is no other choice than to grow it yourself. This is what I did. I’ve grown my own rhubarb plant in large pots in my garden so that I can have a fresh harvest every year.

Stewed rhubarb, besides being a lovely dessert, is quick and easy to make. You can even prepare it at the last minute if you have unexpected guests. Serve it with double cream, ice cream, crème fraîche or, in my case, mascarpone sweetened with honey. A triumph of taste.

Ingredients
14 oz fresh rhubarb stalks, chopped
1 cup brown sugar
Juice and zest of 1 orange
1/2 cup water
8,8 oz mascarpone
1 tbsp honey

Preparation time: 15-20 minutes
Cooking time: 10-15 minutes

Serves 2

Toss the chopped rhubarb into a saucepan together with the sugar, the orange juice and zest, and water.

Bring to the boil and cook for about 5-10 minutes until the rhubarb is soft and tender.

In the meantime, beat the tablespoon of honey into the mascarpone.

Serve the stewed rhubarb with the honeyed mascarpone.

Rabarbaro Stufato con Mascarpone al Miele

Vi ricordate del rabarbaro del mio giardino? Quello citato qui. Beh, alla fine è diventato qualcosa. Qualcosa di molto gustoso, rinfrescante e molto, molto estivo: rabarbaro stufato. Che, per inciso, è diventato anche un articolo su Honest Cooking (abbiate pazienza, ma parlerò spesso di HC su questo blog). 

Beh, quelli di voi che hanno visitato o che hanno la fortuna di vivere in Inghilterra o posti simili hanno assaggiato, almeno una volta nella loro vita, il rabarbaro stufato o la marmellata di rabarbaro. Questa verdura (eh, sì, è una verdura) dalle coste rosate e leggermente acidognole è l’ingrediente perfetto per molti dessert: crostate, torte, crumble, pudding, marmellate. Ricordo perfettamente la prima volta che ho assaggiato il rabarbaro: mia zia dall’Inghilterra si era portata in valigia un po’ di coste prese dal giardino di sua madre. Le lessò con il succo di arancia e fece la crostata più buona che avessi mai mangiato. Questo è successo almeno quindici anni fa e, da allora, il rabarbaro è diventato il mio amore segreto. Certo, come in ogni relazione complicata, abbiamo avuto i nostri alti e bassi. 

il rabarbaro stufato è probabilmente quanto di meno italiano esista al mondo. Anche se esistono le caramelle al rabarbaro, amare come il fiele, è praticamente impossibile trovare del rabarbaro fresco al mercato, a meno di non abitare nel profondo nord Italia. Per quelli come me che abitano a sud degli Appennini, non c’è altra scelta che coltivarselo da soli. Ed è esattamente ciò che ho fatto. Mi coltivo il rabarbaro in grandi vasi di terracotta così da avere il raccolto fresco ogni anno.

Il rabarbaro stufato, oltre ad essere un dessert delizioso, è facile e veloce da preparare. Lo si può fare anche all’ultimo minuto in caso si presentino alla porta ospiti inattesi. Servitelo con panna, gelato, crème fraîche o, nel mio caso, mascarpone addolcito con il miele. Un trionfo del gusto. 

Ingredienti
400 g di coste di rabarbaro fresco tagliate a tocchetti
1 tazza di zucchero di canna
Succo e scorza di un’arancia
1/2 tazza di acqua
250 g di mascarpone
1 cucchiaio di miele

Tempo di preparazione: 15-20 minuti
Tempo di cottura: 10-15 minuti

Per 2 persone

Mettere il rabarbaro tagliato a pezzi in una pentola con lo zucchero, il succo e la scorza dell’arancia e l’acqua.

Portare ad ebollizione e cuocere per circa 5-10 minuti finché il rabarbaro non è soffice.

Nel frattempo montare il mascarpone con il miele.

Servire il rabarbaro cotto con  il mascarpone. 

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19 comments
  1. Sally said:

    How I love rhubarb! Luckily, it is easy to find here in the northeast USA, and I think this is a sublimely simple and humble dish that often is overlooked. I love your addition of the honeyed mascarpone, too. If I don’t have it, I sometimes just pour on a little cream or serve it over ice cream or, the best, stir it into some plain yogurt for breakfast. Now you are making me hungry, Rita!

    • Rita said:

      Thanks, Sally!!!!! I add mascarpone because it’s delicious and because I can’t find double cream here: mascarpone is the thing that’s most similar to double cream. ;)

  2. Cindy said:

    The taste of my childhood :)

  3. I agree with Greg’s comment. Mascarpone DOES make everything taste better.
    I’ve playing with rhubarb this week too. It’s good stuff.

  4. Tandy said:

    I have yet to try rhubarb!

    • Rita said:

      Please, do! I’m sure you won’t regret it!! ;)

  5. Hmm, really wish I could get to like rhubarb – maybe I should give it another go when my mom makes a rhubarb pie. :-) Mandy

    • Rita said:

      If I were you, I’d give it another try. Maybe you’ll find out that it’s not that bad after all… :P

  6. I love rhubarb too! You can’t get it here though because it Illegal to grow it, apparently it’s poisonous to goats!!

    • Rita said:

      Really?!?! Is it illegal to grow it???? I can’t believe it!!! Well, I know leaves are poisonous to men too, so you have to discard them when you harvest rhubarb. I had never thought about goats though. So, what about English goats? Who knows… :)

  7. Hello love! I’ve tried rhubarb but once in a pie and I can’t say I was fond of it, but mayhaps I’ll give it another shot. It’s amazing just how similar it looks like celery once cooked down like that. I’m sure your version tastes much better than the pie recipe I followed. :-)

  8. Amanda said:

    Stewed rhubarb goes very nicely with stewed apple, Rita – especially when in a pie! And mascarpone can only improve both of these!

  9. Shelvasha said:

    This looks amazing Rita! I’ve never had Rhubarb, but with the addition of mascarpone, I would devour this dish.

  10. Yvette said:

    I’ve only just flown back from Italy last weekend…sorry I couldn’t acknowledge the lovely versatile blogger you forward onto me a couple of months ago
    . I’ve tagged you in this post:http://yvettesblogs.com/2011/08/17/the-se7ven-link-challenge.
    I only had this conversation with my niece last week in regards to rhubard, she too has only just started growing it..northern Italy. Wanting to make her first rhubarb and strawberry crumble.
    Hope everything is going fine for you…congrats on your submissions to Honest Cooking. Yvette x

    • Rita said:

      Thank you so much, Yvette!! I’m going to check your post out now!!
      I perfectly understand your niece: I love strawberry rhubarb crumble too. :P Where exactly does she live in Italy?

  11. Looks gorgeous Rita! I love rhubarb too. My favorite is strawberry rhubarb pie.

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