Star chef Evin Ramsvik shares his recipes at Dagsavisen every week.
The taste of rhubarb immediately takes me back to childhood. It symbolizes early summer with sun and heat, cuts on the knees and not least the delicious sugar – because the cup in which he dips the sour rhubarb stems was not at all far away.
Today, I am very happy to use ingredients that evoke childhood memories. Adult life is busy, with little time to reflect on the time gone by, but some tastes bring life to the past instantly. This gives the taste experience several layers.
Rhubarb before strawberry
Rhubarb season begins several weeks before the strawberries are ripe. But the two flavors are beautiful together, so here you have to find the solutions. Fresh, imported raspberries definitely work, but strawberry shortcake from the freezer is even better. If you store freezer clothes in small boxes, it’s easy to thaw exactly the amount you need.
Another good way is to freeze whole strawberries on one tray, leaving space between each strawberry. Then you can easily take it out of the drawer and put it in a box or bag in the freezer. You can cook these berries with rhubarb for more flavor in a rhubarb dish. Strawberries will also contribute to a beautiful, deep red color.
Another well-known trick that I recommend this time around is to use leftover cake crumbs. The principle is the same when we use breadcrumbs for veiled peasant girls. Particularly suitable are sweet wheat bread, sugar bases, Chinese cakes, seasoning cakes, and other cakes without filling, cream, sundaes.
Place the cake on a baking sheet and let the pieces dry at room temperature. They can then be stored in a glass or airtight box for several months if they are first dried properly. Before serving, you can easily crush the cake pieces a little more into crumbs, which are baked golden in a frying pan or oven with a little butter and sugar. Feel free to also use some spices to give the dish its own signature.
Rhubarb and strawberry compote with golden crumbs
Ingredients (2 people)
- 3 rhubarb sticks
- 10 fresh strawberries
- 150 gm frozen strawberry
- 50 gm sugar or honey
- 1 star anise
- 0.5 vanilla bean
- 1 cup cake crumbs
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons of sugar
- 1 cinnamon stick
- Good vanilla ice cream (or other ice cream)
- Wash and dry the rhubarb. Cut off the top and bottom and use a fine peeler or a small knife to peel the outer casing – this is what you take care of for the sauce. The rest of the rhubarb is cut into evenly thick, coarse pieces.
- Place the crust and the frozen strawberries in a saucepan, and fill with water until covered. Add sugar or honey, vanilla bean and anise. Let the paper slowly draw towards the boiling point. Then reduce the heat to medium and let it simmer gently for 15 minutes.
- The leaf should stand for 30 minutes at room temperature before you drain it into a new saucepan and add the chopped rhubarb. Allow the compote to simmer over a low heat until the rhubarb is tender. Cool to room temperature and then in the refrigerator.
- Cut fresh strawberries into small pieces and turn them into cool rhubarb just before serving.
- Fry the cake crumbs in a skillet with butter, sugar and cinnamon stick. It should be golden and crunchy. Place them on kitchen paper where the excess fat can seep out.
- Serve the cold compote with cake crumbs and plenty of vanilla ice cream.
One should not always go to the safe. That’s why we chose sparkling red wine over a rhubarb Riesling and strawberry compote.
Written by Knut Espen Mesje, Sommelier, Course Leader and Co-author of several cookbooks / NTB
Rhubarb and strawberry are not only good together, but also delicious for the right wine. But they do demand some: Rhubarb is very sour and needs a great deal of sweetness to balance out the acid. Strawberries are delicious and they must have a careful drinking partner in return for the combination to work well.
A rather unusual combination
In general, light, light, low-alcoholic wines with fresh acidity are preferred. I myself often choose a young German Riesling in the auslese category – that is, wine made from specially selected, overripe grapes – for such a dessert. Champagne Italian classics like Moscato d’Asti or Brachetto d’Aqui are also bankers. But sometimes it’s fun with more exotic combinations.
I chose to test the Lambrusco this time. Lambrusco is made in several varieties and can be both dry and slightly sweet. The wine is made from Lambrusco grapes, which usually give a taste of red and dark berries, along with a bit of tannin, freshness and pleasant bubbles. Dry versions are often used with cured meats.
small organic product
Lambrusco Folicello l’Amabile Lambrusco 2020 (Item No. 12798501, pick to order, NOK 154.90) from small organic wine producer Folicello. With just over 36 grams of sugar, the wine is suitably sweet for compote, and when served slightly chilled, it looks fresh and sparkling. It tastes of black cherry with a hint of herbs, providing an interesting contrast with sour rhubarb, sweet strawberries, and creamy ice cream. A hint of vanilla builds a bridge between the wine and the dish.
Overall, the experience was very successful, and I think the wine works surprisingly well. If you haven’t tried Lambrusco before, this well-made alternative is worth a try. Drink it small and slightly chilled.
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