It involves growing rhubarb in warm, dark 'forcing sheds' – which encourages early growth – and then harvesting by candlelight. Compote can be eaten plain, mixed into yogurt and granola for a tasty breakfast, served over ice cream or vanilla pudding. Kerns studied English literature and neurology at UC Davis. Rhubarb is incredibly versatile. It's thought that Venetian traveller, Marco Polo, first brought the plant to Europe in the thirteenth century. Here is a copy of a few of the comments posted on . Cut rhubarb just before you plan to cook it so the pieces don't dry out and lose essential vitamins and minerals. Grasp the edge of the slit and pull down, peeling a strip of stringy fibers off of the surface of the rhubarb. I have now made two batches and declare it my newest favorite jam recipe. Avoid using copper, iron or aluminum saucepans when stewing rhubarb. By 1657, rhubarb's miracle medicinal properties meant that in England, it was worth three times the price of opium. Wash the rhubarb under cool, running water and pat dry with paper towels. It’s a refreshing, delicious drink for hot days, served over ice, perhaps with a bit of ginger ale to add fizz. Stir frequently. Compote is a fancy name for stewed rhubarb, which is a very useful recipe to know how to make. Add sugar to taste and stir to dissolve. 'Victoria' is a traditionalist's choice and arrives later on in the season. Rhubarb may resemble red-hued celery, but the similarity between the two vegetables ends there. With its tart taste and stringy texture, rhubarb is best braised or stewed with plenty of sugar and fruit like strawberries. Remove tea bags once flavor is intense. It may be served over ice cream or plain cake. Chill the rhubarb chunks by running them under a continuous stream of cold water, then dry and freeze laid out on trays before tipping into bags or tubs for easy storage. It was late fall when my family moved into a new house last year, so I wasn’t aware of the magnificent rhubarb patch tucked into a corner between the shed and cedar hedge. It's more conventional to slow cook rhubarb though, until the root is soft and juicy. My sister makes these Cinnamon-Rhubarb Muffins and sells them freshly baked at her restaurant. Instead, use enameled cast iron, anodized aluminum or non-stick, coated aluminum. It's commonly cooked in a sweet pastry, put under a crumble topping or alongside a posset. Stew over medium heat until soft, 7-10 minutes. People dipped the root into a bowl of sugar and bit into it like a carrot – in fact, it's said that rhubarb with sugar was the inspiration behind sherbet dip dabs. Use a sharp knife to cut off the rhubarb's leaves and trim each root end. A huge percentage of Britain's rhubarb production is concentrated in a nine square mile region in Yorkshire known as 'The Rhubarb Triangle' – an area which was awarded Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) in 2010. While rhubarb is deeply ingrained in British cuisine – stewed rhubarb, rhubarb crumble with custard and rhubarb cobbler with clotted cream have graced many a Sunday lunch table – rhubarb actually originated in northern China, where records show the medicinal plant being used to cure gut, liver and lung problems as early as 2700BC. Slice each rhubarb stalk into approximately 1-inch chunks. Rhubarb is generally roasted or stewed with sugar, honey, agave syrup or soft sweet fruits and cooked rhubarb is often combined with cream in a panna cotta or trifle. Remove a spoonful of the stewed rhubarb, allow it to cool slightly and taste. © Copyright 2020 Hearst Communications, Inc. How to Cook Everything: Simple Recipes for Great Food; Mark Bittman. Using a paring knife, top and tail the stem, slice at an angle into the size that the recipe requires – this could vary from 1 inch chunks for quick-stewed rhubarb to longer batons for roasting or poaching. Discard the leaves. How to Cut & Cook Rhubarb. Michelle Kerns writes for a variety of print and online publications and specializes in literature and science topics. Meanwhile, make green tea. Farm shops or farmers markets may sell rhubarb with leaves attached – discard these before cooking, and don't feed them to any livestock or pets as the leaves are toxic. Fresh rhubarb will keep for a week if refrigerated. I like to add a touch of almond extract. This traditional Middle Eastern lentil soup recipe uses a hefty quantity of fresh rhubarb to add a bright, sour taste. Rhubarb is traditionally used in sweet recipes and, increasingly, in savoury dishes too – its unique tangy, sour flavour means that rhubarb works just as well when mixed with sugar in a sweet pie as it does in a sharp pickle.. Wow your dinner guests with this impressive yet straightforward dessert. These metals will react with the rhubarb, turning it brown and possibly staining the pan. Poaching, stewing and roasting are the most common techniques but pickling or even cooking rhubarb sous vide are all good options too. Rhubarb used to be eaten raw. I love it for baking, preserving, and cooking, while my kids sport the giant leaves as sun hats until they go limp. When we were growing up on the farm, we had lotsa rhubarb. Pickled rhubarb, rhubarb chutney or rhubarb relish is delicious served alongside mackerel, venison, pork or with platters of cold meats or cheeses. How to cook rhubarb. With its tart taste and stringy texture, rhubarb is best braised or stewed with plenty of sugar and fruit like strawberries. Peeling rhubarb is rarely necessary. Any white marks, floppy stems or sliminess indicate that it may have been a while since the rhubarb was picked. Suggested additions: dried blueberries (Kim of Hiraeth) and strawberries . Hot-house rhubarb is typically more tender than field-grown rhubarb and may not need to have its outer, fibrous strings removed before cooking. British rhubarb is cultivated in two different ways, which means that there are two different rhubarb seasons. Katherine Martinko is a writer and expert in sustainable living. Start by discarding the toxic leaves, if still attached. (I substituted 2 teaspoons ground ginger for the fresh while boiling the fruit down, since I forgot to add it earlier. WhiteStone has a suggestion for serving it, too. She bakes them a wood-fired pizza oven early in the morning when the oven is still cool. Rhubarb may resemble red-hued celery, but the similarity between the two vegetables ends there. Stew or poach (8-10 mins) or roast (15 mins for forced, 20 for maincrop) rhubarb. Boil the mixture, stirring until the sweetener is dissolved. It goes perfectly with the tart rhubarb-raspberry combination, but feel free to substitute based on what fruits are in season. Stir until sugar dissolves. Eat rhubarb sauce plain in a bowl, over vanilla yogurt (how I like mine), or over ice cream or cake. This is my mother’s recipe. Simmer until rhubarb softens, about 7 minutes. Return to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer, uncovered, for 10 to 15 minutes. Rhubarb's flavour means that it's difficult to overpower, so don't shy away from other strong ingredients like ginger, cardamom or star anise. 'Forcing' rhubarb is an early nineteenth-century technique, employed by most Yorkshire rhubarb farmers. Wash any residual soil off the rhubarb stems. 2. Steep 4 tea bags in 2 liters (half-gallon) of water. It wasn't until the mid-nineteenth century though, that rhubarb began to creep into kitchens – first in a sweet context and then as a savoury condiment, with rhubarb relishes becoming a popular accompaniment to mackerel and venison. Combine 4 1⁄2 cups chopped rhubarb, 1 1⁄2 cups granulated sugar, and 2 tbsp lemon juice in a pan. The combination of rhubarb and ginger is delicious. So I was delighted to discover this recipe that fills out the rhubarb with a double punch of ginger – both candied and fresh. Strain if you prefer it clear (although Mom recommends leaving some pieces of rhubarb). Simmer until rhubarb softens, about 7 minutes. Indeed, in the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth century 'The Rhubarb Express' was a daily train which ran between Ardsley and London during rhubarb season, transporting 100–200 tons of the stalk to Spitalfields and Covent Garden Market each day. They should not be eaten. Although it is most frequently seen in a dessert context, rhubarb can be served with yoghurt and granola for breakfasts, added to smoothies and is increasingly used as a savoury condiment.