Rhubarb is a natural for a work week dessert because it takes all of 5 minutes to cook. And when cooked, rhubarb dissolves into a purée, creating a natural base that I sweeten with jam and texturize with chopped fresh strawberries.
1poundfresh rhubarb stalks, green leaves removed
Light cream (optional)
Peel the rhubarb stalks if they’re woody. The easiest way to do this is to cut ⅛ inch deep into the stalk with a knife and then, in strips, pull away the fibrous outer layer. Cut the stalks into 1-inch lengths.
Stir the sugar into the water in a medium-size noncorrosive saucepan. Add the cinnamon. Dissolve the sugar in the water over low heat. Add the cut rhubarb, cover the pan, and simmer gently until the rhubarb is just tender, 3 to 5 minutes.
Meanwhile rinse, hull, and halve or quarter the strawberries.
When the rhubarb is tender, remove the pan from the heat and stir in the jam and the strawberries. Spoon the rhubarb mixture into 4 to 6 dessert bowls and refrigerate uncovered until cool. Cover the bowls with plastic wrap if you plan to refrigerate the dessert longer.
If you can afford the cholesterol and calories, pour some light cream over each portion; the blend of mellow cream against the tart fruit is delightful.