Rhubarb

Rhubarb Poached with Vanilla Bean, Ginger and Cardamom

Jane Coxwell, Private Chef to Diane von Furstenberg

{ Serves 2 }

Often on vacation, Diane von Furstenberg will eat this poached rhubarb with sheep’s milk yogurt for breakfast. Rather than processed sugar, the poaching liquid is made from agave nectar, a natural sweetener from the blue agave plant, which is very similar to aloe vera.

1 1⁄2 cups agave nectar

1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise and seeds scraped out

One 1⁄4-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled

1 cardamom pod

Thin strips lemon zest, each about the length of half a finger

1⁄2 pound rhubarb stalks, cut into 4-inch pieces

Sheep’s milk or other plain yogurt, for serving, optional

1. Combine the agave nectar, vanilla bean and seeds, ginger, cardamom, and lemon zest in a medium saucepan with 4 cups water and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Immediately reduce the heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes.

2. Add the rhubarb and simmer for 3 to 5 minutes, until tender, depending on the size of the rhubarb. Be careful not to overcook or boil, or the rhubarb will lose its shape and fall apart.

3. Remove the pan from the heat and set aside to cool. It’s ready to eat! (I leave the ginger and vanilla bean in because they look pretty, but you don’t eat them.)

NOTE : The flavors will really develop if you store it in the fridge overnight.

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