May 12, 2016 | Posted by Stephanie Banyas
Rhubarb: you either love it or hate it. There really seems to be no gray area when it comes to this ruby red vegetable…that’s right, I said vegetable. In the US it is considered a fruit, but it actually is a vegetable!
Every spring, I look forward to including this tart, sour delicacy in pies and crisps. I’ll certainly be making my delicious strawberry-rhubarb crumble and rhubarb pie with buttermilk crust several times this spring, but I wanted to try something new…something equally yummy, yet different. I think I have created the perfect (yes, I am using the P word) new recipe: Brown Butter-Vanilla Bean-Cardamom Waffles with Maple Roasted Rhubarb and Whipped Ricotta Cream… yes, it’s a mouthful (a delicious mouthful, at that).
After years of cooking my rhubarb on top of the stove, I have decided that roasting rhubarb is really the way to go. Roasting deepens the flavor and the indirect cooking also helps the rhubarb retain its shape (ie it doesn’t become pink mush). Roasting also helps to get rid of the excess liquid that rhubarb exudes while cooking, which can often water down the taste.
The maple syrup adds just the right amount of sweetness while allowing the tartness to pleasantly shine through. Orange juice and orange zest are added because the flavor complements rhubarb perfectly, as does the citrusy cardamom in the waffle. Cardamom is really an underutilized spice in the US. If you aren’t familiar with its glorious fragrance and taste, give it a try! It’s my new favorite spice, and I am kind of obsessed.
As for that buttermilk waffle, it’s crisp on the outside, light and fluffy on the inside. Need I say more?
Even if you’re one of those rhubarb haters, I suggest giving this recipe a chance. Bobby always tells people who hate cilantro to give it another try… So I am here to ask you to extend the same courtesy to the unfairly maligned rhubarb. Trust me on this one!