Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Brown Butter Rhubarb Bars - the best & last of spring

It seems that summer took forever to arrive this year.  April and May were cool and rainy, and during the whole of June temperatures never really got much above 70 degrees.  So, that means we got to enjoy the bounty of spring produce for that much longer.  There has been scads of asparagus, plenty of deliciously snappy radishes and pea pods, and all sorts of delights (including stinging nettles, which I'll talk about in my next post).

But the rhubarb!  Ah, yes the rhubarb.  It's been fantastic this year. The intense heat over the 4th of July weekend has probably caused most peoples rhubarb plants to bolt.  But, before that, it seemed almost as if the bounty would never end.

That was a good thing, in my opinion, since I had a whole slew of rhubarb recipes that I was hoping to try -- including this one which I picked up from Jeannette Ordas over at Everybody Loves Sandwiches, a blog where you'll find a host of delicious things that don't get too silly and complicated.
 This recipe is probably a bit more fussy than average (after all, it requires the creation of a compote, and a bit of messing around with the browned butter), but if you asked me, I'd suggest it's entirely worth the effort.  The flavor is incomparable -- with the delicious perfume of fresh vanilla beans and the amazing nuttiness of plenty of irresistible browned butter...  really, I don't know how you can't be a sucker for browned butter, since it's (IMHO) among the most delightful things ever discovered in the world of culinary invention.

As you know, I usually can't help futzing with recipes, tweaking them here and there until they're just perfect.  But, somehow, this one just felt right as it was.  The tang of lemon and the zing of ginger create the perfect counterpoint for the nuttiness of the browned butter, while complementing the classic tartness of the rhubarb.  Best of all, these bars keep like a charm at room temperature, and they're perfect eaten slightly warmed with a bit of vanilla ice cream.

Maybe you've got a few stalks left from your garden.  Or maybe you have a nice little bag of it stowed away in the freezer.  Either way, you owe it to yourself to give this recipe a gander.

Brown Butter Rhubarb Bars

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  1. Ooooh, yum. I haven't tried browned butter but I can imagine its deliciousness. I do love me some rhubarb! I haven't made it yet but last summer made rhubarb crumble ice cream, which was amazing. So far this year I've made plenty of rhubarb crumbles and for my husband's birthday, a rhubarb trifle, which we adored.

  2. I've definitely adored the abundance of rhubarb but I hope it sticks around for one more week so I can make these! I love that browned butter!

  3. Our next door neighbor, when we lived in Minnesota, had an abundance of rhubarb every year. He, like most people, thought it a nuisance - like a big giant weed that had no purpose in his yard - so he gave me free reign to come over whenever I wanted and take it. Needless to say I made A LOT of rhubarb pies, crumbles, and jams while we lived there. Can't wait to have my own garden again.

  4. This looks really good! I've been on a rhubarb kick lately!

  5. That shortbread crust looks amazing. I agree about brown butter, especially paired with vanilla. I'm embarassed to say 15 years ago, I pulled out what I thought were annoying weeds in my backyard. Of course, now every time I see rhubard at the market, I still feel a sting of regret.

  6. This look delicious. We just shared it with our fans on Facebook.

  7. Brown butter is totally worth messing around with!

  8. I wish I had some rhubarb! This is awesome and I agree with Kat - brown butter is SOOOOO worth it!

  9. Brown butter makes everything just a bit more special, and makes people wonder what your secret is. Beautiful!

  10. Oh my God this looks so good and i`m sure that it is delicious too. I think it is not a very difficult recipe so i will give it a try, thanks a lot for sharing.


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