Recipe creativity aside, my favorite part of building a dish is the design. I am not artistic at all. Like not one bit. I still struggle with pastry design if its anything beyond a minimalist-clean line design. I even drew a person the other day and my (almost) 3 year old looked at it with her head tilted to the side (for a good 10 seconds) and said: “Mama, what is that?” So yeah, no artistic bone in my body. At least in the literal sense. I am, however, very good at plate design. One example is the Seared Pork with Gingered Rhubarb Compote, Watercress, Fennel, and Yogurt recipe I created this week. I honestly surprised myself at how great this dish looked considering how little effort went it.
Ever since I discussed my new found love of rhubarb, I’ve been doing all I can to work it into my recipes. It finally got to the point where I decided I needed to do some kind of big batch recipe so that I could preserve and enjoy rhubarb for the next few months. And even though I haven’t tested the pH of this rhubarb recipe yet (preservation of foods need to be at a certain pH level in order to eliminate bacteria spores from growing), it’s certainly one to keep around for as long as possible… which might not be too long because it’s that good! This bright, slightly sweet, slightly tart compote would make a great sauce for fish, salad, steak, you name it! In fact, it quickly became the starting off point for this entire recipe.
So somewhere between this gingered rhubarb compote, the other supporting (albeit delish!) ingredients, and the creation of this pork with gingered rhubarb compote recipe the artist in me came to life. This dish is shockingly easy to prepare and yet it took on a flow of color and movement that made those modest ingredients really sing.
My reason for this lengthy ode to the art of my rhubarb compote? Let your ingredients move you. You may not be the best cook. You may even feel like you have zero talent in the kitchen. But I bet, if you take a step back and cook something that excites you, or inspires you, or sounds unbelievably tasty to you, you may become the cook you never knew you were. I find that when people claim to not be good cooks its because they lack confidence. So cut yourself some slack. It’s just food… just enjoy it. Enjoy the ingredients, enjoy the preparation, enjoy the eating. Let the art of food flow out of you. You’ll be surprised at what you’re capable of.
Ingredients for this recipe: