Strawberry-Rhubarb Sauce

Last week, while looking for weeds to pull around the perimeter of our backyard, I realized our rhubarb plant had grown to gigantic proportions. I took a peek under its large leaves and noticed its stalks were becoming very ruby red - prime for picking! It's definitely rhubarb season, and I couldn't wait to make my first fresh rhubarb recipe of spring.

I asked Eric what he'd like: Pie? Crumble? Rhubarb Coffee Cake? Compote? He mentioned a simple strawberry-rhubarb sauce would be versatile and delicious. Great idea!

Of course, the idea was even greater when I peered out our kitchen window last Saturday morning only to be greeted with this:

A rainy Saturday morning with a bounty of fresh-picked rhubarb from the backyard? That definitely called for hearty Belgian waffles topped with a sea of strawberry-rhubarb sauce. I went to work right away.

While cooking up the sauce, I added a few drops of red food coloring - it really amped up the color, making it look especially tasty.

The sauce couldn't be easier to make. After the chopping of the rhubarb and strawberries, it seriously came together in about 10 minutes flat, including cook/boil/mashing time.

We made the waffles with my fancy new flip Belgian waffle maker Eric got me for my birthday (he really knows the way to my heart). Using the waffle maker always reminds me of Saturday breakfasts in the dining hall my freshman year of college. This waffle maker is totally awesome - perfect waffles every time!

The waffles have the perfect-sized pockets to hold all that gooey strawberry-rhubarb goodness. I was in heaven with every bite.

Obviously, they did not disappoint.

The best past about this strawberry-rhubarb sauce recipe is that it's so versatile. The next night we made strawberry-rhubarb sundaes with the leftovers and let me tell you, these sundaes were incredible. So incredible I polished mine off too quickly to snap a photo. Also incredible? The few spoonfuls I ate straight from the pot. 

Strawberry-rhubarb sauce
(adapted from Allrecipes.com)

1/2 cup orange juice
2/3 cup sugar
6 teaspoons corn starch
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 1/2 cups sliced strawberries
1 cup chopped rhubarb
6-8 drops red food coloring (optional)

1. Combine orange juice, sugar, corn starch and vanilla in a sauce pan and heat over medium heat to a boil.
2. Reduce heat, then add strawberries and rhubarb, stirring occasionally. Cook for 8-10 minutes. 
3. Mash up any remaining strawberry or rhubarb chunks with masher or fork. Stir in food coloring if desired.
4. Enjoy!

What's your favorite rhubarb recipe? I've still got a ton in the backyard and am looking for more creative ways to use it up!

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