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spiced curiosity | rhubarb sweet iced tea, then vanilla-roasted with cherries — hello, brooklyn - spiced curiosity
Rhubarb in all its glory

Sunday, June 3, 2012

rhubarb sweet iced tea, then vanilla-roasted with cherries — hello, brooklyn

  • rhubarb sweet tea
  • 8 pretty stalks of rhubarb
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 8 cups of water
  • honey to taste
  • dash of salt
  • •••
  • vanilla-roasted rhubarb
  • 4 pretty stalks of rhubarb
  • 2 cups of cherries
  • 1/4 cup water — or bourbon
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • handful of pistachios

So I moved to Brooklyn. It’s beautiful here.


Every corner has a crazy detail that draws you in, either to admire, inspire, or even laugh at. Bushwick Campus Farm on one end, bleach blonde punk in a kimono on the other, but in the middle you make it fit and appreciate it all. I accidentally crashed a Jewish wedding on our rooftop the other night, and walked through a 60 year old’s spraypainting session (she was very sweet about it). Gotta love the quirkiness. Some people are trying real hard, and some aren’t trying at all.


yep, a sign

Also, I don’t know if I mentioned this, but my roommates are awesome. I’ve never met two kinder, laidback, and hilarious girls. One of them even offered up her CSA rhubarb for cookin’, so I tried my hand at two recipes right here: sweet iced tea (definitely Southern style — homesick, me?) and roasted with vanilla and fresh cherries. The latter is a recipe I glimpsed on Pinterest, among a million other tempting ones. (Seriously, who else among you loses hours just gawking over millions of Pins?! It’s crazily addictive. Also, shameless plug, but we’re working on getting a “Pin It” button up. Yeah!)

rhubarb & co.

long pretty stalks

fresh cherry season

Anyway, the sweet tea is everything you dream of, nice and tart with an extra twang of cinnamon. I recommend making it ahead of time in a big pitcher, so you can swig a glass on any ol’ hot afternoon. To accompany the chilled tea, I like the roasted rhubarb with just-in-season cherries. It’s a small, sweet dish that makes your mouth pucker and your sweet tooth sing. (I thought of making pie instead, but it seemed a shame to douse the cherries & stalks in flour & egg.) Along with a heaping dallop of Greek yogurt and smashed pistachios, your mouth is gonna have a sweet summer shindig.


about to mix it all

The farmer’s market should be carrying rhubarb about now, but if not, I’m sure Whole Foods sells it!

sweetened rhubarb

Thanks to Bon Appetit (and Pinterest, yes please) for the Vanilla Roasted Rhubarb recipe. I shared this sweet delight on Slightly Indulgent Tuesday.

rhubarb sweet iced tea — pretty simple
Rinse the rhubarb stalks thoroughly, and dice into into 1-inch slices, discarding the green ends.

2. In a large pot, bring the rhubarb, cinnamon stick, water, and dash of salt to boil; reduce to a simmer, and leave it alone for about 30 minutes.

3. Once done simmering, strain and let cool. Pour into a nice pitcher with fresh ice cubes, and reserve for a sweltering day. I mean right now.
vanilla-roasted rhubarb with cherries
Although cherries are in full force in the supermarket, I couldn’t stop drooling over the street vendor’s fruit smorgasbord by my work. Maybe not as clean, but just as sweet.
1. First preheat the oven to 425°. Then, if making with the iced tea, highly recommended!, rinse all fruits and stalks together.

2. Cut the rhubarb at a diagonal in 1-inch pieces. Stem & pit the cherries, and slice into 1/2-inch morsels.

3. Combine the fruit, stalks, water, and honey in a bowl. Split the vanilla bean in half, then scrape in the tiny seeds. (When I first opened it up, I wondered, what seeds are they talking about? WHERE ARE THEY?!…They’re just tiny.) Cut the stalk into quarters, and mix with the other ingredients.

4. Cut parchment paper into four 12″ squares, and evenly distribute the mixture onto the middle of each. Fold each square in half, and crimp along the edges, being careful not to let the dessert escape.

5. Transfer each parchment piece to a large cast-iron skillet, and roast in the oven for 15 minutes (or until rhubarb is tender).

6. Pour mixture into four glass bowls, and enjoy with a scoop of Greek yogurt, topped with chopped pistachios.

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