With forced rhubarb being in season, I love thinking of exciting and delicious ways to spruce up our menu. Whether it’s as a main ingredient in one of our savoury/sweet dishes, or as a garnish in one our cocktails, I really enjoy working with my team to come up with interesting ways of adding a little colour to our menu during the winter months.
Unlike traditional field-grown rhubarb which appears in farmers’ markets around April, forced rhubarb is grown in the dark, rocking yellowish leaves and can be found from January until the end of March. Forced rhubarb is much different from your standard English rhubarb, as it’s light pink in colour with a sweet, delicate flavour.
Being that we’re smack dab in the middle of forced rhubarb season, I thought it would only be fitting to share a few of my favourite rhubarb recipes that are easy enough to recreate at home.
We serve poached rhubarb with cheesecake or a panna cotta at The Burger Shop & The Bookshop.
1 Vanilla Pod, deseeded
Cinnamon Stick, broken in half
100g Fresh Ginger Root, sliced
150ml Orange Juice
Pre heat oven to 150c
Slice rhubarb into size desired (peel skin if needed).
Thoroughly mix rhubarb, sugar and spices, and place on a flat tray so that the rhubarb is in one layer. Place tray in the refrigerator overnight, turning the rhubarb until all of the sugar has dissolved (there should be a good amount of natural juices from the rhubarb). Add orange juice. Place your mixture on a tray in the oven and let it poach in the juices for about 20 minutes, until the rhubarb is soft and not falling apart too much. Leave to cool before removing from the liquid.
Reserve the juices for cocktails, sorbets, jellies or lollipops.
On this occasion we've used the poached rhubarb to garnish our panna cotta with rhubarb jelly.
This is a delicious way to use rhubarb. We use this recipe at Burger Shop in our Mackerel Burger.
1kg Forced Rhubarb, sliced fairly small on an angle
1l White Wine Vinegar
1 Star Anise
10g Fennel Seeds
2 Bay Leaves
Bring all ingredients except rhubarb to a boil. Add the rhubarb and turn off the off heat and allow to cool.
We use this recipe as a garnish on our rhubarb daiquiri cocktail at The Bookshop
5 Stems of forced rhubarb
100g Caster Sugar
Pre heat oven to 50c
Bring sugar and water to the boil, creating a sugar syrup, and allow to cool. Slice rhubarb on a mandolin to create long, thin strips. Dip strips into sugar syrup. Place rhubarb strips on a baking tray with greaseproof paper and put in the oven for at least 4 hours, until rhubarb is completely dehydrated and crispy.
Store in a sealed container.