Rhubarb Butterscotch Shmear (100th post!)

June 21, 2009 § Leave a comment


I have always loved Wednesdays.  When I was in elementary school, I think I loved Wednesdays because they were the day before Thursdays and Thursdays were Mac and Cheese days in the cafeteria.  But lately, I look forward to Wednesdays because I wake up extra early, sit on my favorite bench under the roaring Manhattan Bridge, and read a copy of the New York Times.  I splurge and buy a hard copy; I save the “Dining Section” for last.  When I get to the D Section, I rip open the page to get to the recipes.  But two weeks ago my eyes scanned the page and my excitement evaporated.   Really? Rhubarb Recipes?

I typically avoid the gigantic piles of long, red, celery-like stalks of rhubarb that I see at every early Spring market and shuttle over to the vastly-more-exciting boxes of spring strawberries.  But as I read the carols of rhubarb in last Wednesday’s Times and sipped my cold, sweating iced-coffee, I decided to try out a few rhubarb recipes and see how I liked them.


With a little heat, rhubarb breaks down  into stringier pieces, completely losing its original stalky shape.  For this recipe, I cut the rhubarb into small, third-of-an-inch chunks, heated them on the stove with a little brown sugar and butter, and then, when I saw the mixture getting a little congealed and thick, I loosened it up with a bit of water.  I should note that this recipe will be a bit tart, which is my preference.  But if you prefer sweeter shmears, use a packed quarter cup of sugar and a couple tablespoons of honey. I split this recipe into two parts and ate the first part warm, on top of cold yogurt; the next day I ate it cold in cold yogurt.  Both were delicious.  I’m hooked.

Ingredients (for two):
5-6 stalks rhubarb
1 tablespoon butter
1/4 cup brown sugar, loosely packed


Cut rhubarb into small pieces (less than half an inch long) and place in the bottom of a pot with brown sugar and butter.  Heat on medium-low, stirring occassionally.  Cook approximately 15-20 minutes, adding water to loosen as needed.

Diet Notes: Gluten-free, nut-free


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