Wednesday, 10 June 2015

Beyond Rhubarb and Custard

Why Rhubarb?

Rhubarb is such a hardy vegetable that a root can be planted and left alone.  It will multiply to give you are fantastic crop and needs no tending at all.  When you have a few commitments in your life, then this is a great choice for growing.

It is also super good for you!  It is "very high" in calcium and vitamin C, with iron and vitamin A too.

When Rhubarb?

This depends on where you live.  Forced rhubarb is sold in UK wintertime, but this is grown under lights and false conditions.  My home-grown stalks in the UK peep above ground in May and continue to produce harvest into the summer.

What Rhubarb?

For those who weren't keen on the tangy rhubarb and custard sweets (me) or Grandad's favourite stewed rhubarb with custard (guess who again?), then fear not.  Rhubarb can be amazing in a number of other dishes, and apart from in Rhubarb Ginger Jam or tiny fluorescent green pink logs in crumbles, I prefer rhubarb as a vegetable i.e. in savoury dishes.

I find most success using it in savoury meals in the following ways:
  • Replacing apple with rhubarb in recipes such as in curries or when mixing with mashed potato for Heaven and Earth.
  • Replacing pineapple with rhubarb in recipes such as chicken stir fries (though serve with rice rather than noodles) or in ham/gammon dishes such as casseroles served over mashed potato.
It also makes a mean chutney, either an old fashioned sandwich pickle, or replacing the mango in a favourite mango chutney recipe.

How Rhubarb?

The stuff is proliferate, but preserves brilliantly (see above), and freezes excellently.  Wash, chop, freeze in a container and then use straight from the freezer in your cooking.  This ensures easy access to a very nutritious, free, home grown food all year round.

Do you have any favourite ways to use rhubarb?  Please share any tips below - I would love to read them!

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