After a cloudy and relaxing nine day stretch in Oregon, I touched backed down in Los Angeles on Monday morning. While up north, I went to a wedding of a close friend for the first time, got a lot of my own wedding planning done, and made this dreamy little number. I’d hadn’t tried rhubarb until very recently (lame, I know), and when I did I fell in love with its tart flavor, beautiful crimson coloring, and the way it gently complements sugars and fruits. I decided to make a simple vanilla rice pudding using an old Greek rice pudding recipe my parents have, and boiled up a compote of rhubarb, strawberries, and balsamic vinegar to top it off with. The complexity of the fruit and balsamic balanced out the rich and creamy pudding very nicely, and ended up making me eat a good deal more sugar and whole milk than I probably should have. But what is a vacation without a little indulgence? Not a vacation I want to partake in, that’s for certain. And now I am off to pamper my growing garden and sneak some peaks out of the corner of my eye at the new hummingbird feeder my mother so generously donated to my patio, in the hopes of seeing our fluttery little neighborhood friend. Wishing you all a lovely ending to your spring!
vanilla rice pudding with a strawberry balsamic and rhubarb compote
Vanilla Rice Pudding
- 2 Egg Yolks
- 4 Cups Whole Milk
- 1 Cup Water
- 1/4 Cup Sugar
- 1/2 Cup White Rice
- 1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
Strawberry Balsamic Rhubarb Compote
- 3 Stalks Rhubarb chopped
- 1/2 lb Strawberries sliced
- 3/4 Cup Sugar
- 3/4 Cup Water
- 3 Tablespoons Balsamic Vinegar
- Heat the sugar and water over high heat in a medium-sized pot until the sugar has dissolved into the water completely, about 5 minutes. Add the balsamic vinegar, strawberries, and rhubarb and lower the heat to medium-low. Allow the mixture to simmer for 1 hour, stirring every 10 minutes, crushing the fruit pieces with the wooden spoon a bit when stirring. Then remove it from the heat and allow the compote to cool to room temperature before placing in the refrigerator to thicken.
- Meanwhile, you can begin making the rice pudding. Mix the water, sugar, and milk together in a medium-sized pot over medium heat until completely combined. Add the rice and bring the mixture to a low boil. Reduce the heat to low and allow the mixture to simmer gently for 1 hour, stirring every 5-10 minutes to keep the rice pudding from sticking to the bottom of the pan and burning, and stirring every 3 minutes during the last 20 minutes of cooking as a film will keep trying to develop on top of the pudding.
- Remove it from the heat and stir in the vanilla extract. Allow to cool for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, whisk the egg yolks in a large bowl until small bubbles appear in the yolk mixture, takes about a minute. Add the rice pudding to the egg yolks, 1 tablespoon at a time, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until fully incorporated.
- To serve, place the desired amount of rice pudding in a cup and spoon the desired amount of the compote over it. Stir and eat. Makes about 4-6 servings, depending on your appetite.