01 Mar Rhubarb Season
The words ‘rhubarb season’ only give us reasons to be happy as they’re an indication that winter is coming to an end and spring is on its way! Spring not only brings with it the promise of better weather but also a whole host of new fruit and veg that will be coming into season. Over the next few spring months we promise to share details of what’s coming into season but for now we will focus on rhubarb as it’s the time to get it!
With rhubarb you get the best of both worlds as it’s a vegetable that’s also a fruit! We’ve provided you with some facts that will teach you all you need to know about this fruit/vegetable!
Colour- You may have noticed that rhubarb’s colour can vary from green through to pink and deep red shades. Usually we associate fruit and veg colours with taste, for example we could all guess a green and a yellow pepper in a blind fold test was! However with rhubarb, although the colour can vary greatly it is worth knowing that this does not signal a difference in taste.
Leaves- Rhubarb comes with or without leaves but it is just its stalk that is edible. In fact the leaves are toxic so make sure you throw them away! Something you do want to bear in mind if you find rhubarb with leaves is how they look, if they are fresh it shows that the stalk is also fresh.
Finding the perfect rhubarb- One tip for finding the perfect rhubarb is to make sure the stalks are firm and crisp with no blemishes, they should also release sap when snapped.
Storing- Unwashed, rhubarb can be stored in the fridge for one to two weeks but if you want it to last longer you could always put it in the freezer. No room in the freezer? Another way to make your rhubarb last longer is to look at making a jam from it, that way when the colder months begin to creep in again you can still enjoy its sweet and sour taste on your toast!
Nutrition- We are constantly saying it but you can’t get enough of vitamin C to help your body fight all the nasty things coming at it in the cold months and you’re in luck because rhubarb is a great source for it! It also contains carbohydrates, fibre and potassium.
Cooking- Although rhubarb is tasty you do not want to eat it raw and it will require some cooking to make it edible. To prepare rhubarb is pretty easy, just chop it up and add it to a pan with little boiling water so it softens. You will need to add some sugar to sweeten the taste and a great tip is to use a fruit juice alongside the sugar so you’re not adding crazy amounts of sugar!
You can have a go at cooking rhubarb yourself with our recipe below.
Upside-Down Rhubarb & Ginger Cake
What you’ll need
200g soft brown sugar
350g rhubarb, trimmed and cut into 2cm pieces
200g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp bicarbonate of soda ½ tsp salt
2 medium eggs
80ml vegetable oil
2 tbsp finely chopped crystallised ginger
- Preheat the oven to 180°C, gas mark 4.
- Melt the butter in a 24cm oven proof frying pan over a medium heat. Stir in half the sugar, and cook for about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat. Add the rhubarb.
- Combine the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt.
- Whisk the remaining sugar with the buttermilk, eggs, oil and ginger. Add the flour mixture and mix well. Pour over the rhubarb and smooth the surface.
- Bake for 30 minutes or until the cake springs back when pressed in the centre. Cool on a rack for 10 minutes then invert on to a serving plate. Serve warm with cream.
We hope by now you are a rhubarb genius and are excited to get some in your kitchen! Rhubarb is great in desserts and if you would like some inspiration in how to use this year’s crop why not arrange a cooking lesson with us. We can design a bespoke lesson with a chef coming to your home to teach you all the secrets to the perfect rhubarb dessert.
All you need to do is get in touch!
Phone- 0208 226 37 59