Do you see those beautiful stalks of rhubarb each summer and sigh to yourself, thinking, “It’s very pretty, but I don’t want to make a cobbler or a pie.”
I hear you, I completely do, and my grandma (who is more on top of the food blog scene than I am, obviously) tipped me off to this recipe for rhubarb and rosewater syrup. Being in Appalachia and not Kelaa M’Gouna at the moment I had some trouble tracking down the rosewater part, but rhubarb stalks were easy enough to find so I opted for a simpler version of the recipe linked above (I also added less sugar than the original recipe for a still sweet but slightly tart flavor).
It turned out beautifully, in every sense of the word.
Summer Rhubarb Syrup (adapted from Rhubarb Rosewater Syrup at 101 Cookbooks)
2 stalks of rhubarb: trim ends, slice in half longways, then chop into half inch bits
1 cup sugar (I use less than the original recipe)
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons lemon juice (the linked recipe suggests lime juice but I had lemons and it worked just fine)
Mix the rhubarb and sugar, and add just enough water to cover everything, and let sit for a few hours, cold, in a saucepan.
Add 1 1/2 cups of water and bring to a boil, then lower the heat to a simmer; simmer for about 15 minutes. The rhubarb should start to disintegrate.
Strain using a cloth and a strainer; transfer the liquid to a shallow pan, add the lemon juice and simmer for 15 more minutes.
As this happens, take a wooden spoon and skim off as much of the foam as you can as it forms on the surface of the syrup.
Let cool and transfer to a jar or bottle.
Uses are myriad: I have used it to add a spark to my 75% tonic water-25% Ruby Red favorite summer drink (see below); you can also add it to prosecco or mixed drinks, use it to top yogurt, drizzle over fruit or baked goods, use it to pretty & spice up a cold soup, eat with ice cream…it’s good enough to put on pretty much anything, I’d say. Also did I mention it’s gorgeous?