Crazy For Rhubarb

Thanks to a steady, freezing, utterly miserable rain–the likes of which we’re all completely familiar with but somehow still can’t believe is really happening to us because we sometimes really truly think that this is all just a bad cold dream and we’ll wake up at our Malibu beach house wearing J Brand cutoffs and flip flops, relieved to see Chris Pine* doing laps in our infinity pool as usual–there wasn’t much competition for shopping space at this past weekend’s Saturday Portland Farmers Market at PSU.

None of the long snaking queues, no waiting patiently for your crack at the carrot bin, no agonized jaw clenches as you telepathically order unwitting dawdlers to get out of your picture of Deep Roots Farm’s perfectly-arranged chard stems already.

Deep Roots Chard

But despite the generosity of standing room and miles of unclogged aisles, the abundant wealth of luscious mustard greens and fat cabbage heads and wild mushrooms and rabe, rabe, rabe—there were only three lone tubs of rhubarb at Winters Farms. I walked up just as farmer Marven Winters was saying something about all his rhubarb having sold out in minutes the week before and maybe that is why the girl who was bent over the bin making strange ecstatic noises looked like she might slap my hand with her wet glove when I muscled in on the stash of irresistible dark pink stalks.

lovelyrhubarb

This ravishing rhubarb was an early spring treat and I wanted to make it last as long as I could, so I simmered the stalks into a simple honey-sweetened, lemon-kissed compote and started the day by spreading it over a spanking fresh Little T baguette for breakfast:

rhubarbtoast

And ended the day by dribbling it into champagne saucers filled with tangy-sweet buttermilk panna cotta.

prettycompote

The moral of this story is: rhubarb is here (swoon) and it’s apparently in short supply, so get up early tomorrow and go get some…and amen for our Amazing Technicolor Portland Farmers’ Market.

Portland Farmers Market * PSU * Saturdays 8:30am-2pm * Website

*feel free to insert Hollywood boytoy of choice