Red-streaked stalks of rhubarb appear in tight bundles in our CSA each spring, and as soon as spring fades into summer at the local farm, the rhubarb from our own garden is ready for the harvest. My family lives high in the mountains, where the force of summer's heat never quite reaches and we can grow cool weather crops from July through September until the snows begin again.
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Rhubarb is a favorite of mine, its tartness marrying well with sweet things - strawberries, of course, but also mineral-rich brown sugars whose faint acidity provides a complement for the vegetable's natural, rounded sour notes.
Making the Cake
Skillet cakes are my favorite cakes - simple to prepare and served in an old-fashioned cast-iron skillet which is, incidentally, the most used piece of equipment in my kitchen. I start by blending freshly ground whole-grain flour with yogurt, and letting it soak for a period of time, a process that not only increases the bioavailability of the minerals it contains, but that also softens the crumb delivering a delicious, light cake. The next day, I saute a bit of fruit (or, in this case, rhubarb) in jaggery and butter until it softens, finish off the batter, and bake. Impossibly easy, and impassibly delicious.