Ways With Rhubarb
Rhubarb season is in full swing and readily available at the supermarket and farmer's markets. The beautiful and vibrant rhubarb stalks can vary in colour through its growing season. From crimson red to speckled light pink, all the way to light green. It adds a sweet yet tart flavour to recipes and works well in desserts.
Make the most of this fantastic ingredient before its season ends in June by trying different recipes.
How to use rhubarb.
It can look a little intimidating at first, but once you've tried it, you'll see how easy it is to make an array of dishes to make the most of the wonderful rhubarb season.
It can be used to make jams or compotes, pannacotta, eclairs, jelly, cakes, meringue pie, ice cream, cocktails and you can even pickle it for a savoury twist.
We recommend you wash the stalks and make sure to discard any leaves. If the rhubarb is young and tender (so lighter in colour), chop them into 1-inch pieces and they are ready to be cooked. If you see any fibrous strings on the outside, peel them off first as you would with celery before chopping.
If you want to make the most of your bounty, you can also freeze rhubarb, meaning you can enjoy it all year long.
How to cook rhubarb.
There are two classic ways to cook rhubarb – bake or lightly stew. Whichever option you choose, keep an eye on the cooking time. Overcooking rhubarb will give a mushy result but don't worry as it'll still taste delicious and can be used as a compote, which is the perfect accompaniment with your breakfast yoghurt and granola.
To cook, we recommend simply keeping it at a low simmer in a saucepan with sugar, a splash of water, and a generous squeeze of orange juice. For a lightly spiced version, add in a cinnamon stick, a couple of cloves and star anise. It should take no more than 8 to 10 minutes for the rhubarb to be tender – a knife should go through it with no resistance.
Ready to give rhubarb a go? We've rounded up a few rhubarb recipes for you to try.
Rhubarb Frangipane Tart
For the pastry:
300g plain flour, plus extra to dust
50g icing sugar
175g unsalted butter, chilled and cubed
Finely grated zest 1 orange
1 large egg yolk
For the frangipane:
225g unsalted butter, at room temperature
225g caster sugar, plus 1 tbsp extra to sprinkle
3 large eggs
150g ground almonds
50g plain flour
250g rhubarb, trimmed
For the pastry, in a food processor pulse the flour, icing sugar and a pinch of salt until combined. Add the butter and orange zest and pulse until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Alternatively, rub the butter into the flour mixture using your fingers.
Add the egg yolk and 1-2 tbsp ice-cold water and pulse/mix until the pastry begins to clump together. Tip onto a work surface, shape into a disc, wrap and chill for 30 mins.
Lightly dust the pastry with flour and roll it out between 2 sheets of baking parchment to roughly a 35cm circle. Peel off the top parchment and invert the pastry into a roughly 23cm round, fluted tart tin. Peel off the top parchment and line the tin neatly with pastry, making sure you press it into the flutes. Trim edges to neaten and prick the base all over with a fork. Chill for 10 mins.
Preheat oven to 180°C (160°C fan) mark 4. Line the pastry case with 1 of the baking parchment sheets and fill with baking beans. Bake for 18 mins, or until the pastry sides are set. Carefully lift out parchment and beans and return the tin to the oven for 5 mins, or until the base feels sandy to the touch and is lightly golden. Set aside.
For the frangipane, in a food processor whizz the butter and sugar until light and creamy. Add the eggs and whizz again until combined. Add the ground almonds and flour and pulse until just combined. Alternatively, beat the butter and sugar with a handheld electric whisk, then beat in the eggs and fold in the ground almonds and flour using a metal spoon.
Scrape frangipane into the pastry case (still in the tin) and gently spread to level. Halve the rhubarb lengthways and cut the diagonal into 2-3cm pieces. Arrange on top of the frangipane, packing it in tightly as the rhubarb will shrink on baking. Sprinkle over the 1 tbsp sugar and bake for 1hr, or until the frangipane is golden and set.
Leave to cool in the tin for 10 mins, then transfer to a serving plate or wire rack (if not serving immediately). Serve warm or at room temperature with crème fraîche.
300g rhubarb, trimmed and cut into 2cm pieces, plus extra for ribbons
100g caster sugar
1 bottle prosecco, chilled
Put the rhubarb, caster sugar and 2 tbsp water in a saucepan and cook over a low heat, covered, for 3 mins. Remove the lid, increase the heat slightly and cook for a further 5-8 mins, until the rhubarb is softened. Allow to cool for 10 mins.
Using a blender, purée the cooled rhubarb mixture, then set aside until at room temperature. Chill until needed.
Just before serving, make the rhubarb ribbons. Using a swivel peeler, press the rhubarb onto a hard surface to flatten slightly, then hold down firmly and draw the peeler down the rhubarb.
To serve, divide the purée between 6 glasses and top up with prosecco. Garnish the glasses with the rhubarb ribbons.
Pork Chops With Rhubarb
190g rhubarb, cut into 5cm lengths
1 red onion, cut into wedges
3 garlic cloves, bashed with skin on
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
olive oil, for drizzlin
1 tbsp butter
2 rosemary sprigs
2 pork chops
250g pouch mixed grains
100ml chicken stock
Parsley, to serve
Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. In a small roasting tin, toss the rhubarb, onion wedges and garlic with the balsamic vinegar, a little olive oil and some seasoning. Roast in the oven for 20 mins.
Meanwhile, melt the butter over high heat and fry the rosemary. Add the pork and cook for 2 mins on each side until nicely browned, then remove from the heat. Take the roasting tin out of the oven and add the grains and chicken stock and mix. Add the meat and the rosemary to the roasting tin, placing the chops on top. Roast for 10-12 mins further, or until the pork is cooked through. Serve each chop with a big spoonful of the grains, scattered with parsley.
250ml cider vinegar
100g golden caster sugar
300g chopped rhubarb
4 chopped Medjool dates
1 tsp grated ginger
1 cardamom pod
In a pan, heat the cider vinegar and caster sugar until the sugar has dissolved. Add the chopped rhubarb, dates, ginger and cardamom pod and cook for 15-20 mins or until the rhubarb has broken down and the liquid has reduced to a thick chutney. Season with salt and serve as a condiment for your favourite curries, meat or cheese. Will keep in a sterilised jar for three months in a cool, dark place.