Did you know that Boston is obsessed with ice cream? Perhaps it might not seem that strange to you, but coming from New York, I’ve never seen anything quite like it. And it’s great! This ice cream obsession was the easiest thing to swallow about moving up here. Massachusetts has one of the highest consumption of ice cream per capita in the country. I’m proud to be a part of this statistic, and readily sample the many ice cream options available here.
I remember one of our first visits to the supermarket. I was amazed that there is an entire extra aisle in the freezer section just devoted to ice cream and frozen treats. JP Licks, our local ice cream shop, has a long line even in the dead of winter. I like to taste all of the new and seasonal flavors. When it comes time to order, I usually get my standby of mint chocolate chip. Sometimes I’ll be more adventurous and order vanilla chip or black raspberry. I do like a lot of the other flavors, I just have yet to find one that I like more than mint chip.
We frequently eat ice cream at home, probably more often than we should. We like to use a variety of different toppings on our ice cream – cereal, fresh fruit, chocolate bits. It makes each bowl a little different from the last time.
For my first bit of garden-fresh food I thought I’d see what type of ice cream topping I could create. Our community garden has some overzealous rhubarb just screaming to be picked. I’ve never cooked rhubarb, let alone harvested it myself. Hopefully I’ll figure it out and we’ll be okay. Did you know that parts of the rhubarb plant are poisonous? Still, for many, rhubarb is an integral part of spring. It melds with strawberries and marks the return of vibrant colors, tart flavors, and fresh produce. For no particular reason, I’ve never been one of these people. With a supply of fresh rhubarb, I think this might be about to change.
What sounds better than a warm spring night, and a bowl of ice cream topped with fresh rhubarb-lime-thyme compote?
Inspired by Hide the Cheese
4-5 stalks of rhubarb
1/3 cup sugar
zest from 1/4 lime
juice from 1/4 lime
1 Tbsp. honey
~1/4 tsp. fresh thyme, chopped
1. Wash and dry rhubarb, cut into slices.
2. Combine rhubarb, sugar, lime zest and lime juice in a bowl.
3. Let sit for 10 minutes.
4. Add to small saucepan with 2-3 Tbsp. of water.
5. Bring to simmer.
6. Add honey and chopped thyme.
7. Simmer for 20 minutes, or until rhubarb is cooked and ingredients have melded together.
Serve over ice cream, on top of toast, or eat straight from the jar.