yossy's rhubarb semifreddo

yossy's rhubarb semifreddo| A Brown Table

I absolutely love it when my friend's cookbooks come out and the pastry/dessert ones take a special place in my heart. A couple of months ago, I shared a quatro leches recipe from Sam's book which is now nominated for a James Beard award! Sam does an amazing job of bringing spices into desserts and she does that with finesse. Congrats, Sam!

Now another dear friend from New York, Yossy of the blog Apt. 2B Baking Co. has a new dessert cookbook out called Sweeter off the Vine! Yossy deals with desserts in her own special and unique way, she passionately infuses flavors from her life into each and every treat listed in her book. The lemon verbena olive oil cake, the mint infused ice cream with cacao nibs, the blood orange old-fashioned donuts, the apricot berry galette with saffron sugar are just some of the delicious recipes that are included in her book. What makes this book special to me, is the way Yossy weaves a rich tapestry of her culture and life into each recipe, her Persian heritage, growing up in Seattle and her life in Brooklyn, it all comes together in the ingredients, flavors but it's Yossy's way and it's perfect! It's her amazing story and this book goes straight into my dessert/baking collection that will always be cherished for years to come.

Now for this rhubarb semifreddo......

From its big floppy leaves, to its beautiful stalks, rhubarb is beautiful (and poisonous - the green parts) but it's a resilient plant to grow. It dies and comes back every spring. And if you love rhubarb, you will love this semifreddo from Yossy! It's creamy and smooth, and like a slab of marble with tiny flecks of roasted pink rhubarb stalks embedded in sweet frozen custard. Another winning feature, it's not too sweet and you can actually taste the flavor of the rhubarb. The distinct jammy flavor of rhubarb is not to be missed and I'm actually happy her recipe doesn't ask for mixing in strawberries, you can taste the rhubarb! She has quite a few serving options, from whipped cream, to pistachios, to a rhubarb compote (which I didn't prepare, the recipe is in her book), so many options that are all good! Though I intended to make her rhubarb compote, I ran out at the last minute and used some leftover lingonberry jam thinned out with a little hot water and a splash of bourbon. That's the beauty of Yossy's semifreddo and like many of the recipes in her book, she gives you a delicious recipe and you can enjoy it anyway you want to! 

In Yossy's own words here is her recipe!

yossy's rhubarb semifreddo| A Brown Table
yossy's rhubarb semifreddo| A Brown Table
yossy's rhubarb semifreddo| A Brown Table
yossy's rhubarb semifreddo| A Brown Table
yossy's rhubarb semifreddo| A Brown Table
yossy's rhubarb semifreddo| A Brown Table
yossy's rhubarb semifreddo| A Brown Table
yossy's rhubarb semifreddo| A Brown Table
yossy's rhubarb semifreddo| A Brown Table
yossy's rhubarb semifreddo| A Brown Table
yossy's rhubarb semifreddo| A Brown Table
yossy's rhubarb semifreddo| A Brown Table

rhubarb semifreddo (from Yossy's Sweeter off the Vine)

yields: 8 to 10 servings

ingredients

12 ounces(340g) rhubarb stalks, leaves removed

1 cup (200g) sugar

1/4 teaspoon finegrain salt

4 large eggs

1 1/2 cups (355mL) heavy cream

1/2 cup (60g) chopped pistachios, to serve (optional)

lightly sweetened whipped cream, to serve (optional)

strawberry or berry or rhubarb jam or compote (optional)

1. Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 375F. Line a 9X5X3 inch loaf pan with plastic wrap, making sure there are at least 3 inches of overhang on each side.

2. To roast the rhubarb: Slice the rhubarb stalks into 2-inch pieces and put them in a baking dish large enough to hold them in a single layer. Sprinkle 3/4 cup of the sugar and salt over the top and toss gently to combine. Bake for about 15 minutes, or until the rhubarb is soft and juicy. Let the rhubarb cool slightly, then transfer to a food processor or blender and blend until smooth. You should have 2 cups of rhubarb purée. Refrigerate while you prepare the rest of the ingredients. 

3. Whip the eggs with an electric mixer on high speed with the remaining 1/4 cup sugar until the eggs are light in color and have nearly tripled in volume, about 7 minutes. In a separate bowl, with clean beaters, whip the cream to soft peaks. 

4. Whisk the chilled rhubarb purée into the eggs until well combined. Don't worry if the eggs lose some volume. Fold in the whipped cream, then spread the mixture in the prepared pan, and smooth the surface. Fold the plastic wrap over the top to cover, pressing it against the surface to seal. Freeze until completely firm, at least 6 hours to overnight. 

5. To serve: unwrap the plastic from the top of the pan, invert the semifreddo onto a platter, and remove the remaining plastic. Serve thick slices of semifreddo with a bit of whipped cream and chopped pistachios or a spoonful of jam/compote. Extra semifreddo can be stored in a freezer, wrapped tightly in plastic wrap, for up to 5 days. 

Reprinted with permission from Sweeter Off the Vine, by Yossy Arefi, copyright 2016, published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.

carrot and rhubarb soup

carrot and rhubarb soup #food #foodphotography #foodstyling #carrot #rhubarb #soup

One of my self-appointed goals in life, is to make rhubarb popular as a savory ingredient. Don't get me wrong, rhubarb is amazing in desserts and I love a good rhubarb pie and crisp with fresh strawberries (and other berries) but it is also a wonderful addition to savory dishes. It's high in acid which helps it contribute a touch of sourness to several dishes. This year with all the crazy moving, I didn't get to cook a lot with rhubarb, so I figured before the warm season leaves us, I should make you one special dish that would be bold, bright and colorful!

carrot and rhubarb soup #food #foodphotography #foodstyling #carrot #rhubarb #soup

This is really a very simple recipe, a few ingredients with a few steps. Prepping the carrots and rhubarb is probably what takes the most of amount of work, after that it is pretty much a matter of "dumping" things together to make it all come together. 

I started off this soup by oven roasting the rhubarb and carrots together and blended them to form one thick and creamy soup. I have a batch of purple basil growing in my container garden whose flowers I normally just pick off and toss into salads, they made a nice colorful contrast against the bright orange color of the soup. Of course you can garnish this soup with any of your favorite ingredients, so play around and keep it colorful!

carrot and rhubarb soup #food #foodphotography #foodstyling #carrot #rhubarb #soup

carrot and rhubarb soup

yields: 4 - 6 servings

ingredients

2 1/2 lbs carrots, peeled and chopped

1 cup rhubarb stalk, diced 

1 tablespoon olive oil

4 cloves

4 black peppercorns

1 teaspoon kosher sea salt 

1 teaspoon turmeric powder

1 liter low sodium vegetable stock

1 teaspoon sriracha sauce (or any other sauce you like, you can also leave it out)

a few fresh purple basil flowers, to garnish (optional)

1. Place a wire rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350F.  Toss the carrots, rhubarb, olive oil, black peppercorns, and cloves together in a large mixing bowl and spread them out on a baking sheet. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and transfer the contents to a large stock pot. 

2. Add the turmeric and stock to the vegetables and bring to a boil on a medium high flame. Remove from stove and then using an immersion blender, blend all the ingredients together until completely smooth (alternatively, use a blender and blend the soup in batches until smooth). Return the stockpot to the stove and cook for another 15-20 minutes on a medium-low flame. Stir in the sriracha sauce. Taste and adjust the amount of salt if necessary. Stir occasionally during cooking, serve hot and garnish with fresh basil flowers.