Lifestyle

Tangy taste of rhubarb delights the tastebuds

Baked rhubarb with orange and vanilla.
Baked rhubarb with orange and vanilla.

SOME people don't care for rhubarb but I cannot count myself among their number.

The sharp acid tang of poached, stewed or compote of rhubarb (as far as I can tell they are all the same thing) appeals to my tastebuds (but I am also addicted to lemon juice which I add to as many recipes as I can get away with).

There is a danger of adding too much sugar; I started out using twice as much as I now use and my tastebuds have adjusted to the bite; if I order it in a restaurant I often find it too sweet.

I quite like cutting back the sugar and then serving a few stalks alongside a tiny serve of a rich, sweet dessert such as a creme caramel, creme brulee or pannacotta.

Treats such as those are best eaten only occasionally but they are so delicious you only need a small helping.

Rhubarb is easy to grow although it takes up quite a bit of space in the garden if it is robust enough.

Aptly named a gross feeder, a single crown will keep producing year after year as long as you feed it heavily, preferably with rotted manure, and protect it from winter frosts.

Even if frost does claim the plant, the crown can still recover in the majority of cases.

You can also grow rhubarb in a greenhouse with great success.

I have frustratingly had my scarlet crowns turn green for no apparent reason time after time; it doesn't affect the flavour but green rhubarb after cooking looks like nothing you'd want to put in your mouth - trust me on that.

If your crowns turn colour, you may want to add a drop or three of cochineal to the recipe if you are serving to guests.

The leaves of rhubarb are highly toxic; full of oxalic acid among other substances.

It is still safe, however, to add rhubarb leaves to well-managed compost heaps as the composting process breaks down the toxic compounds quite quickly.

You can also make an effective organic bug spray for the garden by boiling the leaves for an hour in a large saucepan.

Strain off the liquid and add a teaspoon of washing-up liquid to it; place in a spray bottle.

Spray the garden at dusk so bees are not affected. It will kill most common garden pests.

Be sure to properly label the spray bottle and discard leftover spray after a week.

 

Baked rhubarb with orange and vanilla

Serves 4-6

 

Ingredients

500g rhubarb stalks

1 large or 2 small oranges

½ tspn vanilla paste

2 tblspn raw sugar

 

Method

Preheat oven to 160°C.

Wash rhubarb and cut into 2.5cm lengths. Place in a casserole dish.

Wash orange well and remove zest with a zester. Set aside a few strands of zest for garnish.

Squeeze juice from orange; you need around half a cup of juice. Stir in zest, vanilla paste and sugar.

Pour liquid over rhubarb and toss so each piece is covered.

Cover with a lid and bake for 30-35 minutes, or until rhubarb is tender.

Serve warm, garnished with reserved zest and with a little of the cooking juice poured over each helping.

 

>> To read more lifestyle stories

Topics:  cooking easy eating food lifestyle recipes



Dreamworld reopens after 6 weeks in limbo

Visitors go through the doors of Dreamworld on the Gold Coast, Saturday, Dec. 10, 2016.

Every ride has undergone 'rigorous' program of testing

Captain's youth key to titles

Far North captain Nadi Canning is looking forward to leading the region in the Surf Life Saving NSW Interbranch Championships on the Central Coast this weekend.

2016 Surf Life Saving Interbranch Championships

No Murwillumbah ward specialist as changes flagged

Murwillumbah Hospital has no specialist pediatric on site.

Calls for funds to remain to care for children as admissions decline

Local Partners

First catch for shark nets

A 3.2m great white the first shark caught in nets on Saturday, followed by a beach evacuation on Sunday.


Kernaghan's a 'boy from the bush' with a timeless quality

Country music singer Lee Kernaghan.

Lee Kernaghan is celebrating the 25th year of his breakthrough song.

Man builds playground entirely out of packing tape

Artist Eric Lennartson is in the process of completing his huge tape sculpture at the Ipswich Art Gallery.

VIDEO:And here's where you can play on it.

Cooly sings out for carols

Santa gets ready to skydive into the Coolangatta Christmas Carols on Sunday, December 13. Photo: Scott Powick Daily News

Santa dropping in for Christmas Carols at Coolangatta

Chris Pratt's 'mental preparation' for going nude on screen

Actor Chris Pratt

New film took some mental preparation for Chris Pratt

Spiderman star used fake name to research role

Spiderman star Tom Holland.

Spiderman star went undercover at Brooklyn highschool

What's on the small screen this week

A scene from the TV documentary Running Wild: Australia's Camels.

TWO new Aussie docos will pique your interest.

EXCLUSIVE: Meet Robert Irwin, wildlife photographer

SNAPPER: Apart from wildlife, photography is Robert Irwin's great passion.

Steve's boy has a passion for photography

Louis Tomlinson's tribute to late mother

Louis Tomlinson's new single is a tribute to his late mother.

Gong goes to M'bah duo

Dave Weir and Miya Sapir from Tupenny Opera performing in Mexico.

A night at the opera

'Crucial' farm land eyed by defence department

Lawson Geddes moving the Brangus cattle to higher ground - which is the land the Defence Department is interested taking for the Shoalwater Bay expansion.

"You can't have one without the other.”

Former Shark Show for sale for $1.3 million

Vic Hislop at the old Shark Show.

TALK about a jaws-dropping real estate opportunity.

There's a whole lot of luxury in this home

The Endeavour Foundation's latest prize home in Mountain Creek.

WHEN it comes to desirable homes, it's hard to go past a prize home.

Horse haven on big acreage in Murwillumbah

55 Glencoe Road, Murwillumbah

Check out this week's feature property.

WATCH QTV: The highlights of your $150 million CBD

GRAND PLAN: The highlights of the Ipswich CBD redevelopment and where they will be located.

Work on city heart's radical transformation to begin next year

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!