We're coming to the end of the time in between -- that point in the year when spring has begun stretching into summer, but fresh fruits have yet to show up.
After a winter spent gorging on apples, they've quickly lost their appeal. The apples we're buying have become inconsistent, and we're tiring of carrying them to work, or snacking on them at night. We thank you for your service, apples, but you're dismissed.
But it's too soon for strawberries -- hopefully, that may change this week -- and we're months away from the delicious stone fruits of August.
Rhubarb, however, is here. Frankly, it's a fruit* for which we have no great affections. Its raw bitterness can be difficult to handle. To counteract that, most recipes that include rhubarb tend to go overboard on the sugar, and the result is a too-sweet dessert that doesn't really taste like fresh fruit at all.
Nonetheless, we find rhubarb a welcome sight in spring. Tall and red and green, rhubarb is the first fruit soldier to the spring front.
But still, what to do with it?
Poach it and eat it as dessert?
Use a tiny bit raw or briefly simmered in a salad with a sweet vinaigrette?
Make a rhubarb compote or jam? Maybe, once the strawberries have come in.
Martha offers a nice suggestion this month, albeit one that requires ample amounts of sugar and, if you're into it, booze.
This is a Rhubarb Fizz.