Photo: Danny Kim. Illustrations by John Burgoyne.

Rhubarb, in all its iridescent pink-and-green-stalked splendor, is considered a vegetable in most parts of the world, including China, where it’s been used medicinally for thousands of years. That’s not the case in America, where in 1947 a New York court ruled that it was in fact a fruit. However you classify the plant, it’s a much-loved ingredient in the fruit fool, a quintessentially English dessert that often employs a simple combination of cream, rhubarb, and sugar. In this variation, Greek yogurt and crystallized ginger add a tantalizing tang and bite.

Rhubarb-and-Ginger Fool

1 lb. rhubarb
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup Greek yogurt
1 tbs. finely chopped crystallized ginger (optional)

(1) Trim the rhubarb, and cut into 1-inch pieces. Combine with sugar in a medium saucepan, and cook over gentle heat for about 20 minutes or until the fruit is completely soft. (2) Strain through a sieve, and reserve juice. In a food processor, purée rhubarb until totally smooth, then refrigerate the purée and reserved juice until very cold. In a large bowl, whip the cream until stiff peaks form, and stir in the yogurt and ginger until combined. Carefully fold in the rhubarb purée and a little juice so the mixture is streaked. (3) Transfer the fool to individual bowls, and drizzle more juice over the top. Serves 4.