Rhubarb Tasting

Adapted from Marcus Samuelsson

At Aquavit, Chef Samuelsson serves all 5 parts of this rhubarb tasting in miniature portions as one dessert. It's a fun dish to share and taste with everyone at the table. Because he serves the individual desserts in miniature portions, you eat it with a small pearl spoon normally used for caviar. Marcus recommends that you prepare any one of the elements and serve it on its own. In this case you can prepare them in large quantities to be portioned out as you like.

Rhubarb Compote

Yield: about 2 cups

7½ ounces sugar
5 ounces water
1 vanilla bean
1 piece lemon grass
Piece of ginger
5 ounces rhubarb, julienned

Bring all the ingredients except the rhubarb to a boil. Let stand for 20 minutes. Strain. Take small juliennes of rhubarb and add to the above. Bring to a boil. Cool.

To serve, fill a small glass half way with the compote. Or, you may serve this with vanilla ice cream.

Rhubarb Jelly with Sour Cream Panna Cotta

Yield: 8 servings

Rhubarb Jelly

6 ounces rhubarb
3 ounces sugar
2 ounces water
3½ gelatin sheets

Boil the ingredients except the gelatin. Strain. Soften the sheets of gelatin in cold water. Add to the mixture. Cool down.

Sour Cream Panna Cotta

9 ounces heavy cream
1½ pounds sour cream
2 sheets Gelatin leaves
3 ounces sugar

Bring the heavy cream with the sugar to a boil and let cool. Soak the gelatin in cold water for about 5 minutes and add to the heavy cream mixture. Then stir in the sour cream.

To serve, place sour cream panna cotta in a small dish and cover with a thin layer of rhubarb jelly.

Rhubarb Sorbet with Chocolate Cone

Yield: About 1½ quarts

16 ounces rhubarb purée
15 ounces simple syrup
11 ounces yogurt
2 ounces lime purée or lemon juice
5 gelatin leaves

Mix all the ingredients together except the gelatin. Soak the gelatin in water and melt. Add the gelatin to the mixture. Run the sorbet mixture through an ice cream machine.

Chocolate Cones

5½ ounces sugar
1¾ ounces honey
3½ ounces melted butter
5 ounces egg whites
3½ ounces all-purpose flour
½ ounce dark cacao powder

These cones are made from a very thin cookie called a tuile.

To make the tuiles, whisk whites and honey together and pour in the melted butter. Slowly feed in the sugar, cacao powder and flour. Whisk until very smooth. Using a pastry scraper make very thin, rectangle shaped tuiles on a 'silpat' or teflon cookie sheet. Bake them in a 375ºF oven for about 7 minutes or until just cooked. Once done, remove them quickly from the cookie sheet and form cone shapes while the tuiles are still warm and pliable.

To serve, fill a cooled chocolate cone with rhubarb sorbet.

Pistachio Tarts

Yield: 2 eight-inch tarts


4 ounces sugar
2 ounces almond flour
2 ounces pistachio flour
4 ounces butter (room temperature)
6 ounces eggs

Mix all the ingredients except the eggs until smooth. Add the eggs one at a time.

Tart Dough

Yield: Makes enough dough for two tarts

8 1/3 ounces flour
2 ounces sugar
4 ounces butter
½ cup milk


Chopped pistachios

Mix all the ingredients in a mixer with a paddle attachment or in a cuisinart and put in the refrigerator one half hour to rest.

Roll out the dough with a pin and blind bake in the oven. Once the shells have cooled, fill with the pistachio filling. Place several thinly sliced pieces of rhubarb on top. Bake at 350°F for 30 minutes.

To serve, heat up the pistachio tart and sprinkle with some chopped pistachios.

Rhubarb Iced Tea

Yield: 4 servings

16 ounces rhubarb
25 ounces water
6 ounces sugar
2 ounces mint tea

Boil all ingredients except the tea. Remove from heat. Add the mint tea. Steep for 3 minutes. Strain. Cool.

To serve, scrape the rhubarb granité and place in a small bowl and pour iced tea over it.

Drink Suggestion

Rhubarb Iced Tea (see recipe)