This recipe was always a staple in our house every spring/early summer when I was growing up, and I try to make at least one batch of it every year. The original recipe was called "spring soup" and called for crushed pineapple, but this year, I decided to use strawberries instead, which adds an element of planning ahead--you either need to cut and freeze rhubarb (whose season here in Maine is May through early June) to save for strawberry season (early July) or freeze and save enough strawberries to last until next rhubarb season. While I can't attribute it to any sort of planning, I did happily find a yogurt tub of strawberries at the bottom of our freezer, and I do like the addition of them. Because strawberries are so much sweeter than pineapple, you could probably cut back on the sugar, which I did not do this time, but will try next time.
|I made a double-batch on Memorial Day to take to our friends' house.|
In a large saucepan, combine:
2 1/2 cups rhubarb, chopped
2 1/2 cups water
1/4 cup tapioca
1 1/4 cups sugar
1/2 t. salt
1 cup strawberries, quartered
(be sure to stir in the tapioca after you add it, to prevent it from clumping in a frog-spawn-like mass in the bottom of the pan)
Bring to a boil over medium heat and cook, stirring, until the tapioca pearls turn clear.
Remove from heat, chill and serve, or eat hot out of the pan with a little half-and-half poured over it. (Actually, I just recently learned that all types of pudding are intended to be served chilled; to this day I prefer my vanilla pudding warm because that's how we always ate it when I was a kid, probably because my mom thought, after dinner, "Hmm, pudding would be good," and cooked up a batch, by which time it was too late to chill it, and who wants to wait hours for their dessert anyway?) It also makes a good breakfast, and is best served if you're married to someone with an aversion to tapioca and all things with the word "pudding" in them, and if your children are put off by the chunks of green stuff floating around in it (my own children discovered the joys of this dish last summer, and now I no longer get to eat the whole pot-ful myself!)