Radish Tea Sandwiches and Rhubarb Compote

Welp, the Orb has returned to Beantown, bringing with it an insufferable heat wave that has been made worse by the fact that our office continues to blast heat upon us – despite the 80 degree+ weather.

All this warmth has us thinking about refreshing foods (available, as of yesterday, at the farmer’s market in Dewey Square – a two second jaunt from our office door!) that are simple to prepare and sexy to serve. Our sensualist attitude about the whole thing wouldn’t make us many friends in the upper classes of the Victorian Age, but hell, there are fresh vegetables in season and we’re going to think of all the beautiful ways we can to eat them.

So, we’re doing our courses a little out of order here, but our shopping experience itself was fairly linear,we swear ;) Remember Silverbrook Farm’s pretty little French radishes? They not only went raw into the mizuna salad, but got layered decoratively onto slices of Spring Brook Farm’s Sunny Sunflower bread spread thick with whipped butter. This isn’t your usual sammich, but do suspend your disbelief long enough to try it. Bon Appetit is all over buttered, salted radishes, and the addition of bread makes it a filling and substantial snack to go with your tea. Use any kind of white-ish bread you like – substance or fluff, it’ll be really tasty with peppery radishes on top of creamy butter. We can’t find a vintage recipe for this particular tea sandwich per se, but we’ll be sure to check out these two recipes – one for a rolled celery affair that we’re dying to add ham to and one for honey sandwiches garnished, so charmingly, with white clover blossoms.

Then, there was the matter of the rhubarb. Namely, the fact that our neighbors have some – a lot, actually – growing in their front yard. For weeks, Jen’s been plotting an approach to forage some of this goodness to make into a dessert. Sunday was the day when the somewhat awkward introduction happened, but in the end, a friend was made and six huge stalks of rhubarb were harvested and donated for the Vintage Eats cause (foraging? Totally vintage eating.) Here’s what the raw product looks like:

And here’s the finished product:

For this recipe, we took a cue from an 1861 book of household management, but tweaked the quantities quite a bit. We get that rhubarb is sour, but honestly, a one-to-one ratio of it to sugar is overkill. Those six stalks our neighbor gave us translated to a scant two cups of raw product and about a cup, cup and a quarter, of a wonderful compote. To recreate it yourself, peel and chop some rhubarb and throw it into a pot with 1/2 cup sugar and 1 Tbsp each rosewater and water. Bring to a boil, then simmer for a half hour, stirring occasionally. When it’s cooked down, stir in in 3-4 Tbsp flour to thicken it. Serve over ice cream like we did last night, or this early in the a.m., over Greek yogurt. Linda Hein, our host and the owner of the chocolate tarte (our venue for this particular cooking extravaganza), treated us to SoCo Creamery ice cream, a pretty phenomenal vanilla coming our way from the Berkshires. Stay tuned for tomorrow’s post, where we’ll reveal what we messed up royally with the help of an antique recipe, and also, what we did – and are getting ready to do – with a really delicious chicken from Westminster Meats.

Published in: on 27 May, 2011 at 04:16  Comments (1)  

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  1. […] pounder from Desna the last time we visited the SoWa Open Market and roasted it the night we made mizuna salad, radish tea sandwiches and had the awful egg with asparagus […]

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