On my birthday, the Monkey Scientist took me to the farmer's market in the morning. He knew it was exactly how I like to spend Saturday mornings, and it was the perfect start to the day. It's located right in between where we live and is pretty much the first place we ever went together. It had been closed for the early spring, so this was the first time I'd been able to go since March - which was a very special birthday treat.
While we were there, I discovered huge stalks of beautiful rhubarb. Did you know rhubarb has the same flavor when it is red or green? My farmer's market taught me that. It also taught me that rhubarb leaves are poison (they're usually removed when sold), so if you grow your own make sure to remove them! I'm a big fan of education while I shop for my fresh fruits and veggies.
Anyways, I wanted to make a unique and interesting dish with the rhubarb - pie or crisp just seemed too obvious (besides being too heavy on the waistline). I found this recipe for applesauce and thought it'd be an interesting dessert/side dish to bring to a BBQ that some friends were having. It wasn't exactly typical BBQ fare, but I wanted to bring in fresh fruit without it being a fruit platter. It certainly was healthier than a pasta or potato salad with mayo!
This recipe could not have been easier to make. I just cut everything up, threw it in my dutch oven, and let it cook on down, stirring occasionally. It took hardly any time at all and almost no strenuous labor. I have to admit, it isn't as good at my grandmother's applesauce (the only thing I ate at Thanksgiving for years) but for a quick and simple spring recipe, it hits the spot. It's tart, yet sweet, and everyone seemed to enjoy it!
1/4 cup water
1 pound rhubarb, trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch chunks
2 pounds Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and cut into 1/2-inch chunks
1/4 cup-1/2 cup sugar, depending on how sweet you want the applesauce (I used about 1/4 cup)
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
Place water, rhubarb, apples, and sugar in a large saucepan. Cover and simmer until fruit is soft, about 30-40 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in cinnamon. The applesauce will be slightly chunky (mine really was pretty smooth though). If you prefer smooth applesauce, you can run it through a blender or food processor. Serve at room temperature or cold. Store rhubarb applesauce in refrigerator for 2-3 weeks. This applesauce also freezes well, store in an air-tight container in the freezer for up to one year.