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COOKING WITH RHUBARB RECIPE BY TALLYRAND

About cooking with Rhubarb and some recipes with a difference

  • RhubarbCold rhubarb soup with mint - Rhubarber Kaltschale
  • Glazed Roast leg of Lamb with a Rhubarb Salsa
  • South Devon Crumble Rhubarb Cake

Its spring time in the northern hemisphere and that means rhubarb is now appearing in the supermarkets. I was asked what can be done with it? Or maybe a better question is . . . what can’t be done with it?

But first a little background to the plant. Did you know that this marvellous plant is actually a vegetable? Or that the earliest records of it date back to 2700 BC, where in China it was cultivated for medicinal purposes (it has purgative properties).

Caution!
Here in New Zealand the plant grows wild and can be found in most gardens. But extreme care must be taken with the leaves and if any part of the root is green, as it contains a toxic substance called oxalic acid crystals which can cause serious problems when eaten. These crystals can cause the tongue and throat to swell, so if you have rhubarb growing in your garden please take care that young children do not eat the leaves.

Many of you know rhubarb best when it is stewed and served with cream or custard or put into a tart or a pie . . . but for the life of me I have not been able to find a three foot long, three inch wide pie dish to make one!

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Maybe John Cleese put it best when he sang . . .

“I want another slice of rhubarb tart.
I want another lovely slice.
I'm not disparaging the blueberry pie
But rhubarb tart is oh so very nice.
A rhubarb what? A rhubarb tart!
A whatbarb tart? A rhubarb tart!
I want another slice of rhubarb tart!”

So as the pie and tart is so ‘common’, I thought a look at some different recipes was in order. I have come up with three of my favourites: a soup, a main and a dessert . . . you will never be stuck for a something different again!

Rhubarb cooking tips:

  • Always peel it first to remove the stringy part
  • If you want to stew it:
  • Peel and cut into 3 - 5cm pieces
  • Sprinkle it with a little castor sugar and allow to macerate for at least an hour
  • Melt a little butter and add the rhubarb, cook slowly while stirring until it starts to soften and the natural juices are released
  • Only add water if needed (but there should be more than enough contained in the rhubarb). But instead of water try adding orange juice, white wine or maybe some Grand Marnier, Cointreau or rum!
  • When cooked, taste and add honey to taste
  • Cinnamon, vanilla and green cardamom pods (lightly cracked open) go amazingly well when married with rhubarb, they should be added to the butter

I never follow any set recipe when stewing rhubarb as its sourness always varies and sugar or honey is always best added to taste, plus of course we all have different sour tolerance levels and taste.

COLD RHUBARB SOUP WITH MINT - RHUBARBER KALTSCHALE

This first recipe was often served when I was an apprentice in Germany. You will really appreciate this when served on a hot summer’s day as it is just so refreshing and thirst quenching (you could also freeze it and serve it as a sorbet).

Ingredients

rhubarb stalks
100
pc
vanilla pod / bean
1
pc
water
1
lt
mint leaves
sq
lemon
1
pc

Method

  • Place soup bowls or coffee cups and saucers in the freezer for 2 - 3 hours
  • Peel the rhubarb and cut it into thin slices (cut some on a 45º angle for garnish)
  • Put the rhubarb peel in a saucepan with the water, sugar, vanilla pod (split down the centre) and the juice of the lemon and the mint leaves
  • Bring to the boil and simmer for 10 minutes
  • Sieve the liquid and add the rhubarb, bring it to the boil and simmer for 10 minutes, take off the heat and leave to cool slightly
  • Liquidise and sieve, taste and add some clear honey to taste if required
  • Place in the refrigerator or freezer until ice cold
  • Serve the soup in iced cold bowls, with the sliced rhubarb and some mint leaves

GLAZED ROAST LEG OF LAMB WITH A RHUBARB SALSA

As rhubarb is so tart it marries really well with any fatty meats such as lamb, pork, goose, duck. etc. So if you do not like lamb try this recipe with any of these meats instead.

Ingredients

leg of lamb (boned)
1
pc
liquid honey
3
tbs
garlic clove
1
pc
red wine vinegar
1
tbs
 
 
onion - chopped
1
pc
raisins
100
gm
honey
100
ml
red wine vinegar
30
ml
red chile - chopped
2
pc
garlic
2
pc
ground cardamom
1/2
tsp
rhubarb stalks (finely sliced)
10
pc

Method

  • Place meat on either a rack or a bed of carrots (peeled and cut lengthways) in a roasting dish
  • Combine the honey, garlic and vinegar and heat until combined, brush all over the lamb leg
  • Roast at 180ºC for 2 - 3 hours, brushing occasionally with any remaining glaze mixture
  • Once cooked remove from the oven and place on a clean tray and allow to rest for 10 - 15 minutes before carving; this relaxes the meat structure and allows the juices to seep back into the meat. This resting will result in the lamb being easier to carve, the slices will be more tender, juicy and well flavoured
  • In a stainless steel saucepan, combine all the salsa ingredients
  • Cook slowly over a low to medium heat for 5 minutes while stirring
  • Place a lid on the saucepan and cook over a low heat for 5 more minutes
  • Remove the lid and turn up the heat to boil off any excess liquid
  • Remove from the heat and serve at room temperature

SOUTH DEVON CRUMBLE RHUBARB CAKE

Now this recipe was a popular favourite the summer I worked in Salcombe, before I went to Germany to start my apprenticeship. Thank goodness my chef instilled in me an urgency of always saving recipes. This recipe has always served me in good stead ever since . . . gooseberries, raspberries or blackberries are equally as good as I have since found out (always placed in raw).

Ingredients

rhubarb
500
gm
icing sugar
sq
     
butter
50
gm
sugar
75
75
eggs
1
1
lemon juice
1
tsp
milk
1
tbs
flour
100
gm
baking soda
1
tsp
     
flour
100
gm
butter
100
gm
sugar
100
gm

Method

  • Cream the butter and sugar together
  • Gradually add the beaten eggs followed by the lemon juice
  • Sieve together the flour and baking powder, add to the above mixture alternating with the milk, combining well with a wooden spoon each time
  • Pour into a 22cm prepared cake tin <click here> and spread the dough with the back of a metal spoon (dip in water to stop mixture sticking to it)
  • Top with the peeled and sliced or chopped rhubarb
  • Combine the flour and sugar and rub in the butter to form the crumble, sprinkle over the rhubarb
  • Lightly cover the cake tin with tin foil and place a tray on the top shelf of the oven (this will prevent direct heat dropping onto the crumble and burning)
  • Bake on the middle shelf at 175ºC for 40 - 45 minutes, remove the tray and tin foil after 20 minutes to allow the crumble to brown
  • When cooked allow to cool in the tin for 5 minutes before removing onto a cooling rack
  • Sprinkle with icing sugar and allow to cool

Enjoy your rhubarb and bon appetit . . . . .

Chef's terminology:

  lt
=
litres   tsp = teaspoon
  ml
=
millelitres   tbs = tablespoon
  kg
=
kilograms   sq = sufficient quantity (add to taste)
  gm
=
grams   pc = piece, meaning a whole one of

Tallyrand
Recipe from professional
Chef Tallyrand

Email Hub-UK : info@hub-uk.com

 

 

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