Thursday, June 09, 2011
Roasted Rhubarb and Strawberries
For ages I had this far fetched notion that incredible experiences, complex flavors, breathtaking moments were the products of grand plans, enormous effort and exotic locations.
I am slowly realizing that the most incredible and intimate experiences are effortless and occur when I least expect them and from the simplest of things.
The sweet glance of a lover letting you know everything is okay. Casual conversations with the friendly stranger. The feeling of absolute satisfaction from genuine pursuit of happiness.
A simple meal with good people. A daily walk with our dog. The hour before sunset when the air is filled with golden light. A note signed with a heart.
As summer approaches life becomes simple. My needs are rather basic when the sun shines, air warms, flowers bloom, birds chirp. I want to be outside, I want to be surrounded by people that make me happy, I want to feel as healthy as possible, I want to eat the freshest food possible prepared in simple ways. I want a summertime that is simple filled with meaningful and easy experiences.
Fancy dinners, big adventures and other such grand pleasures are fun to plan and look forward to but what makes a life rich is the daily routine of making good decisions, being healthy and making yourself as happy as possible.
As complex as I try to make my life at times, the key to a successful and meaningful life hinges on good decisions. Simple decisions that shape each day.
The more I shop at the local farmer's market (we have four each week) and find the best sources for local and organic produce, our meals radiate with simple fruits, vegetables and good quality meats. Sadly rhubarb is just passing the peak and strawberries are giving way to other summer berries. This is one last hurrah to the first sweet bounty of the season. I am regretfully used to overly sweetened rhubarb dishes that tend to mask the bite that rhubarb offers. This, thankfully is not one of those sugar laden dishes. The rhubarb is delightfully roasted, holding is shape and is complimented with a simple syrup that is created with juicy strawberries, balsamic vinegar, sweet vermouth, pure maple syrup and a pinch of salt. Simplicity at it its finest.
Roasted Rhubarb and Strawberries
Inspired by Heidi Swanson's, Super Natural Everyday
Makes about 5 cups
2 cups strawberries, halved
3 cups rhubarb, chopped into 1/2 inch pieces
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup sweet vermouth
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon sea salt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees with a rack positioned in the middle of the oven.
Line a rimmed baking sheet or large cooking dish with parchment paper, this is a juicy dish and you don't want the delicious juices running all over your oven.
In a large bowl mix the strawberries and rhubarb. In a small bowl whisk together the maple syrup, sweet vermouth, balsamic vinegar and salt. Pour this over the rhubarb and strawberries, gently tossing until coated.
Spread the fruit out on the baking dish in a single layer, drizzling the juices over the fruit and slide into the oven.
Roast the fruit for about 40 minutes, the juices should be thick and the rhubarb tender to touch.
Transfer to a bowl once out of the oven and still warm.
Use immediately or store in the fridge for up to one week
Serve spooned onto ice cream or a slice of this bread, a biscuit or french toast.