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Saturday, June 8, 2013

Grilled Rhubarb with Cherry Maple Syrup

In the North-Midwestern regions, rhubarb is often the first of the Spring plants to be ready for harvest. Not everyone is a fan of the the tart, flowery delicacy, but those who are long for this time of year. Sure, you could get some frozen rhubarb throughout the year, but it's not the same. Those crisp pink stalks speak of home spun rituals and a simpler, country life.

Since I live in the hectic, fast lane of the city it was time to take the rhubarb out of the strawberry pie and let it shine on its own. A quick trip on the grill, a simple basting of natures sugar and kiss of savory to top it off- done.

This is a lovely, elegant dessert as is. But a scoop of vanilla ice cream or a dollop of tangy Greek yogurt couldn't hurt. If you have a chance to latch onto some fresh rhubarb, do! Then head out to the grill to try this simple Fat and Happy sweet and savory rhubarb dessert. It's a wow dish no matter what region you are currently calling home.

Fat and Happy Food Blog Tips and Techniques: Let's take a moment to talk about maple syrup. There are two varieties: Grade A and B. A is a lighter, runnier syrup while Grade B (my preference) is a thicker, stronger flavor option.
Pancake syrup is not maple syrup, it's a mix of fake maple flavor and high fructose corn syrup. Do your body a favor and leave it on the grocery shelf.

Grilled Rhubarb with Cherry Maple Syrup

1 lb of rhubarb (about 5 or 6 stalks)
3/4 cup maple syrup
3/4 cup cherries, frozen or fresh
1 tsp fresh thyme

Chop the cherries in half and place them in a small pan with the maple syrup. Bring to a strong simmer, then turn off the heat and let the mixture steep.

Wash the rhubarb and cut off the ends. Cut the rhubarb into 3-6 inch pieces. Place on a medium hot grill, baste with the maple syrup mixture. Grill on one side for 3-5 minutes or until grill marks form. Flip, brush on more of the cherry maple syrup and grill for another 3-5 minutes. The rhubarb should be softened but not mushy. Watch closely as it's easy to overcook it.

Remove from the grill onto a platter. Drizzle the cherry syrup over the top (scoop out some of the cherries too), serve the remaining sauce on the side so your guest can add more if they prefer. Sprinkle the fresh thyme over the top. Serve immediately while warm.

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