Rhubarb, once used only for medicinal purposes, has become a favorite spring ingredient in the U.S. Although it’s typically considered a fruit, rhubarb is a vegetable, similar in texture to celery, but with a refreshing tart flavor and ruby red, pink and grassy green streaks in the stalks.
You’ll find organic rhubarb in farmers markets and stores carrying organic produce throughout the month of May. Our favorite Wholesome Tummies way to enjoy this vegetable is in a compote with strawberries, drizzled over freshly baked shortcakes:
Rhubarb Strawberry Shortcake
Yields: 6 shortcakes
Allergy Info: soy-free; contains wheat, gluten, dairy
For the shortcakes:
2 cups all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
12 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold, diced
2 teaspoons fresh rosemary leaves, finely chopped
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 egg beaten plus 1 tablespoons milk, for egg wash
6 small sprigs of rosemary, from the top of each branch
For the compote:
3 cups rhubarb, leaves removed, washed and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/2 cup sugar, or to taste
1/4 cup orange juice
Pinch of salt
1 pint strawberries, hulled and quartered
For the cream:
1 cup heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons powdered sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Make the Biscuits:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
Sift the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt into a large bowl. Using a pastry blender, cut in the butter until the mixture resembles a course meal with pea-sized pieces of fat. In a separate bowl, lightly whisk the eggs, rosemary and heavy cream. Add to the flour and mix until just blended. The dough should be sticky, but not wet.
Place the dough out onto a well-floured surface and form the dough into a rough circle, one inch high. Cut 6 biscuits with a fluted or straight cookie or biscuit cutter and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment. Brush the top of each biscuit with the egg wash and sprinkle with sugar.
Bake for 20 minutes or until the outside is slightly golden around the edges. Do not open the oven door during the first 15 minutes, to allow the biscuits to rise properly. Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack.
Make the Compote:
Add the rhubarb, sugar, orange juice and pinch of salt to a sauce pan. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Simmer for 10 minutes and add half of the strawberries. Simmer for another 15 minutes, or until the rhubarb is just tender but still toothy. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Add the rest of the strawberries to the cooled mixture and stir to incorporate.
Make the Chantilly Cream:
Beat the cold cream with a wire whisk or hand mixer until soft peaks begin to form. Add the powdered sugar and vanilla and continue to beat until stiff peaks just barely begin to form.
Assemble the shortcakes:
Split shortcake in the middle, like a hamburger bun. Place the bottom of the biscuit into a shallow bowl and spoon some of the compote over the biscuit. Add a generous spoonful of Chantilly cream. Place the top part of the biscuit on the cream and top with a small amount of compote and another dollop of cream. Place a small sprig of rosemary on the cream. Repeat for each shortcake.
Combine the dough scraps to create additional biscuits if desired. The second batch of biscuits will be slightly tougher and will not rise as high as the first, but will have the same flavor.