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Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Rhubarb Sorbet: An Experiment

I've alluded to my "old" garden before. The one that I referred to as my brother's, or as it used to be known, the total and utter thorn in my side. This garden was already here when we bought our house, and it came with a gorgeous asparagus patch (a total treasure) some Kale (eventually got ripped out by a lawn mower) and an enormous rhubarb plant. For the past four summers, I've ignored the rhubarb. I was slightly intimidated by it, and also less than enthused by it's flavor. It grows, it dies, and Elton John starts singing "The Circle of Life." 

Until now. Monday, I went down and grabbed as much as I could carry and brought it into the house, determined to figure out SOMETHING to do with it. I did some research, thought about going the strawberry rhubarb pie/chutney/syrupy route, and then remembered something. I now was the proud owner of an ice cream maker. (Just another reason I am thankful for marrying my husband...)

It's been sitting in the box, in our guest room (also known as the place where one stores wedding gifts one hasn't found room for.) I decided I'd make rhubarb sorbet. I read some sorbet recipes, got the basics, and went at it. Grabbing basil and mint from my herb pots (assuming they would balance out the tart rhubarb nicely) and deciding I would forgo sugar and use only agave, I went at it. 

For my first foray into both ice cream makers AND cooking with rhubarb? I'll call it a success. It's still getting firmer in the freezer right now, but upon tasting it, I actually like it! It's a bit sweeter than I originally intended, and the mint is a bit strong, but it tastes good. I could have sworn I didn't like rhubarb...

Now, if I can just get J to put down the butter pecan and try THIS during the Idol finale tonight, I'll be in ice cream making summer business. Dreams...

Rhubarb Basil Mint Sorbet
8 medium stalks of rhubarb, trimmed, cut into 1 inch pieces
zest of 2 limes, juice of 1
1/2 C agave (plus extra if needed)
1 small bunch mint, minced
1 small bunch basil, minced
Pinch sea salt

Boil rhubarb in 1 C water with zest and juice of 1 lime and 1/2 cup agave. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 5-10 minutes, until rhubarb is tender. Remove from heat.
Transfer to food processor, puree.
Add mint, basil, and zest of other lime, pulse until herbs are almost pureed in (but still visible.)
Taste; add agave if more is needed.
Add salt.
Transfer to bowl, chill in refrigerator until cold (at least 1 hour--mine chilled overnight.)
Follow directions for ice cream maker (which includes pre-freezing the bowl, which I forgot...) 
When ice cream machine is done, place in air tight container and freeze until it has reached desired consistency.

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