Dieters, this delicious dessert is almost guilt free.
Sounds ho-hum? In fact, it’s wonderful: light in calories, big in flavor and as satisfying as it is guilt free. My friend Patti, a Midwestern girl, introduced me to the rhubarb sorbet concept (rhubarb is a popular ingredient back there but not so much during my California upbringing). I’d never bought rhubarb before but now I’m a believer. The sorbet is intense and creamy, the latter being a natural property of cooked rhubarb. Also helping is the fact that no water is used in the sorbet recipe (sorbets usually are made with sugar water). The best choice for the strawberries are the wondrous ones from Swanton, which are available at the Menlo Park farmers market, Whole Foods and elsewhere. And the Fage brand Greek-style yogurt is to yogurt what Domaine de la Romanée Conti is to pinot noir. Another discovery I have Patti to thank for.
2 pounds rhubarb stalks, trimmed (remove any leaves) and cut into 1-inch-long pieces (about 7 cups)
1 2/3 cups sugar plus ~6 T sugar for berries and yogurt
2 (or more) T peeled fresh ginger, sliced thin
1 vanilla bean, cut lengthwise
1 pint Swanton strawberries (or other ripe strawberries)
1 Meyer lemon, juiced (or regular lemon)
7oz. container Fage brand Greek yogurt (2% version, or version of your choice)
1 T vanilla
aged balsamic vinegar
(optional garnish) Pepperidge Farm chocolate fudge pirouettes (or long, thin chocolate cookies)
- Scrape vanilla seeds from bean halves with a knife and put in a saucepan along with the two halves of the bean. Add rhubarb, 1 2/3 cups sugar and ginger. Mix and let stand to macerate for 30 minutes.
- Cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until rhubarb releases some liquid; about 10-15 minutes. Increase heat to medium and cook until rhubarb is very tender, about 10-15 minutes.
- Let cool (can be refrigerated and finished later). Remove vanilla bean halves. Remove slices of ginger. Puree in batches in a blender.
- Freeze in ice cream maker according to instructions. Store in freezer. Let soften briefly before scooping.
Strawberries & Yogurt Topping
- Wash, dry and slice berries. Toss with lemon juice and 3 T sugar. Adjust amount of sugar and lemon to taste. Refrigerate.
- Mix yogurt with 3 T sugar and vanilla. Adjust sugar to taste (don’t make it too sweet).
Serve individually. Put generous scoop of sorbet on serving plate/bowl. Place berries next to or around sorbet, including any juices. Pour a little balsamic across sorbet and berries (about 1-2 T). Top with a generous dollop of yogurt and garnish with one or two chocolate tuilles or the pirouettes.