As I was surveying Nancy & Jess's backyard in Beacon this weekend, I noticed it was harvest time for their beautiful rhubarb. I'd used quite a bit from the plant last year and didn't seem to damage it at all, but I decided to do a little research before yanking some stalks this year. A quick Google search found this video, which explains the proper way to harvest. What a difference! Suddenly...it all made sense...
Growing Fruit & Vegetables: How To Harvest Rhubarb
I harvested four stalks--I didn't want to go too crazy and damage the plant--and decided to make a basic, freezable recipe that ended up going smashingly well with vanilla ice cream.
Rhubarb Cardamom Concoction
•4 long stalks of rhubarb (about 18-inches each)
•1 cup blood orange juice
•1/4 c. sugar
•1 inch piece fresh ginger, minced
•1/2 tsp. ground cardamom
•a pinch of cayenne
Cut the rhubarb stalks into smaller pieces (about 1/2 inch or so). Put in a saucepan, add the rest of the ingredients, and cook on medium heat until the rhubarb falls apart. Taste, and add more spice to balance, if you like.
Serve with vanilla ice cream.