I’m one of those slightly irritating people that gets pretty darn excited around this time of year because all of a sudden my beloved citrus is fading and – oh! look! asparagus! rhubarb! spring! Yep, that’s me. Mostly I keep this excitement inside because really, I don’t want to annoy everyone, but seeing all these things pop up means only one thing: soon I can wear sandals, bare my legs, sit in the sun, go swimming, and make summer pies. And that, friends, is happiness to me.
Rhubarb feels really English to me – Rhubarb and Custard anyone?! – although living in the States my inkling is to put it in a pie before I make rhubarb and custard or a crumble. The first thing I did with this bunch – my very first of the season – was simply to stew it into a compote with a mix of spices, sugar, and lemon juice. Oh and some strawberries! Which smelled too good not to buy even though I’m well aware it’s not strawberry season yet. Look, nobody’s perfect.
The oh-so sweet compote went beautifully on these buckwheat/wholewheat flour waffles which aren’t too sweet. A dollop of crème fraîche adds a lovely tang. Clearly, bacon is a must on the side. Brits, I know it’s hard to wrap your head around bacon with a sweet breakfast but I urge you to give it a try. If you like sweet-salty combos otherwise (think chocolate sea salt cookies or salted caramel) then you’ll love it. Really, I couldn’t think of anything I’d rather have with waffles or pancakes than bacon.
Oh and lastly, any leftover compote can be refrigerated for several days and gores wonderfully with yoghurt and granola in a parfait.
For the waffles
- 1 cup buckwheat flour
- 1 cup wholewheat flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 3/4 cups buttermilk or milk
- 2 large eggs
- 3 tbsp honey
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- canola oil, to grease waffle maker
For the compote
- 8oz medium rhubarb stalks leaves removed, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 8oz strawberries, hulled and cut into quarters
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- Make the compote: In a medium saucepan, mix the rhubarb, strawberries, sugar, lemon juice, cinnamon and spices, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, stirring frequently, until the rhubarb is tender but not falling apart, about 8 minutes. Transfer the rhubarb to a small bowl and let cool or cover and refrigerate until thick, at least 1 hour. (Can be made up to a day in advance.)
- Melt two tablespoons unsalted butter in a small pan and set aside to cool slightly.
- Combine buckwheat flour, wholewheat flour, baking powder, salt, and nutmeg in a medium sized bowl and whisk together.
- In a separate, larger bowl combine buttermilk, eggs, honey, and melted butter. Whisk til the mixture is smooth and completely blended.
- Grease waffle iron with canola oil using a pastry brush and heat. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and use a spatula to mix until just combined. Pour some the mixture into heated waffle maker. Cook to manufacturer’s instructions. Serve immediately with compote and crème fraîche. Makes 2 or 3 large waffles.