When pretty pink rhubarb stalks show up at the market, you know that summer isn't far behind. Strawberries, too. Known as the pie fruit, rhubarb isn't just for pies. As one of my favorite vegetables (yes, it's a vegetable), I try to take every opportunity to make a unique dish every year when it's in season. Cobblers, crisps, compotes, and pies are all traditional. But this time I made sorbet.
This dessert couldn't be any more refreshing or palate-cleansing. Rhubarb has a tart, slightly astringent taste. That's why usually rhubarb desserts have a lot of sugar. But rhubarb's tartness is best tamed by its buddy, the strawberry. The two are a match made in dessert heaven. Strawberries keep the sorbet on the slightly sweet side, without the use of too much sugar, and brighten the pink color, making it appealing in taste and in beauty.
This recipe is so simple with only three ingredients: rhubarb, strawberries, and sugar. All three ingredients get cooked together on the stove-top. Then the mixture gets puréed. Once chilled, it's ready to be turned into luscious sorbet, perfect on a hot summer's day.
2 pounds rhubarb, ends trimmed, cut into chunks
1 cup granulated sugar
1 pound strawberries, cored, cut into chunks
Combine rhubarb and sugar with a tablespoon of water in a medium saucepan and place over medium heat. Cook the rhubarb, stirring occasionally, until it almost falls apart, about 5 to 8 minutes. Add the strawberries and cook for an additional 5 minutes. Off from the heat, purée the fruit with an immersion blender. Chill at least 2 hours or overnight.
Transfer mixture to ice cream maker and churn for about 40 minutes, depending on the machine. Transfer to a large container, such as a loaf pan, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until hard, about 12 hours or overnight. Yield: 2 quarts.