Rhubarb requires cooking, like fall’s fragrant quince, and possesses a potent vegetal aroma that’s vaguely reminiscent of freshly mowed grass. Brooklyn-based author and cooking instructor Louisa Shafia is such a fan that she featured the rosy stalks on the cover of her winningly seasonal cookbook, Lucid Food, which combines her locavore tendencies with her Persian ancestry.
Louisa Shafia’s Rhubarb and Pistachios Over Thick Yogurt
4 stalks rhubarb
1/2 tsp. cardamom
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
Pinch of salt
1/2 cup honey, or to taste
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. rosewater
2 cups Greek-style yogurt
1/2 cup pistachios, finely chopped
(1) Trim ends and leaves of rhubarb. (2) Coarsely chop the stalks, and place in a small saucepan with 1/4 cup water. Cover and bring to a boil, then decrease heat and simmer, stirring occasionally. When rhubarb starts to soften, after about 5 minutes, stir in cardamom, nutmeg, and salt. Break up any large pieces with a wooden spoon. Continue to simmer, covered, until completely soft. Remove from heat and stir in honey and vanilla extract. Let cool. Add rosewater and adjust sweetness, if necessary. To serve, divide yogurt among 4 bowls, top with rhubarb, and (3) garnish with pistachios. Adapted from Lucid Food: Cooking for an Eco-Conscious Life, by Louisa Shafia (Ten Speed Press; $22.50).