This recipe is from Deborah Madison's book, Local Flavors: Cooking and Eating from America's Farmers' Markets.
• 1 ½ pounds rhubarb • ½ cup light brown sugar, packed, or maple syrup
• 1 teaspoon minute tapioca juice and long strands of zest of 1 small orange • 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
• a handful to a few pints strawberries, mulberries, or blackberries • cream and créme fraîche
• 4 slices candied ginger, cut into thin strips, for garnish
Wash the rhubarb, trim off the ends of the stalks, then slice them crosswise into half-inch chunks. If the stalks are very thick, halve them lengthwise first. Toss with the sugar, tapioca, orange juice, zest, and cloves. Arrange in an eight-by-ten-inch gratin dish and let stand while you preheat the oven to 400 F. Cover with foil and bake until the fruit is tender when pierced with a knife, 35 to 45 minutes.
Meanwhile, if you're using strawberries, rinse them quickly, then slice thickly. Plunge mulberries briefly into water and remove any stems. When the rhubarb is done, remove it from the oven, scatter the berries over the top, and let stand with a piece of foil placed loosely over the top. The heat of the rhubarb will open the flavor of the berries, cooking them slightly. Serve chilled or at room temperature, garnished with cream and créme fraîche whipped together until billowy, and the candied ginger.
To read Carol Ann's account of harvesting rhubarb on her Austin, Texas farm, click here.