Rhubarb - The Unsung Hero of Spring.
Savouring this last bit of Rhubarb we have coming into Dubai. There's just something about seasonal fruit & veggies isn't there... Maybe I get a bit obsessed because I don't have the option to enjoy them at other times of the year - And I hate not having the option to do something! It makes my blood boil.. Another habit I have to kick to the curb, the list is never ending.
I bought a batch of this wonderfully tart spring vegetable last week and I've been eating it on a daily basis. Poaching it and enjoying it with yogurt for breakfast, or directly on toast, on panacotta or even over cheesecake... And of course chopping and freezing it for later in the year.
It's one of those things you either love or hate. Like, say…oysters or tapioca or olives. (I love all of those things…duh.) And, I am way on the love side of rhubarb. Pies, jams, syrups, compotes, bring it on!
When selecting rhubarb at the grocery store or farmers market, look for stalks that are firm and dark pink/red. Light pink stalks can also be just fine in most recipes…but for jams, etc, I try to use red stalks, as they are more visually striking. One very important detail if you grow rhubarb: the leaves are poisonous and should not be ingested. I’ve fallen hard for rhubarb, much like I did for figs a few years ago.
Here's my favorite way to cook rhubarb:
400g thin rhubarb stalks, rinsed and dried
1 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped
1 Star Anise
1 Cinnamon Stick
Pinch of sea salt
Juice of 2 Oranges
Preheat oven to 180C. Slice rhubarb into 1 – 2 inch long pieces.
In a baking pan, toss together all ingredients. Roast rhubarb for 15 minutes, without stirring, until tender and juicy. Remove from oven and let cool. (Yes, it really is that simple).