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



Blood thicker than water for ex-Shark Wheeler

Mal Wheeler will be cheering son-in-law Blair on in Sunday's grand final. Blair is pictured scoring a try against Canberra in last weekend's preliminary final.

I have my shirt and beanie and they're both purple.

Which was the best flower at the Murwillumbah Garden Show?

WINNER: Murwillumbah and District Garden Club president Wayne Tagget with Ted Chilcott's winning entry for the general cut flower section.

IN A sea of bright blooms there could only be one champion.

Tweed product Cheysing NRL premiership dream

STORMING: Tweed Heads and Bilambil Jets' product Cheyse Blair scores a try for the Melbourne Storm during the NRL preliminary final against the Canberra Raiders.

Former Bilambil jet in NRL's big dance.

Local Partners

Marvel's Luke Cage S1E6: Suckas Need Bodyguards review

Rosario Dawson and Mike Colter in a scene from the TV series Marvel's Luke Cage. Supplied by Netflix.

*WARNING: spoilers if you haven't seen Marvel's Luke Cage*

Marvel's Luke Cage S1E5: Just To Get A Rep review

Mahershala Ali, centre, in a scene from the TV series Marvel's Luke Cage. Supplied by Netflix.

*WARNING: spoilers if you haven't seen Marvel's Luke Cage*

Marvel's Luke Cage S1E4: Step In The Arena review

Mike Colter in a scene from the TV series Marvel's Luke Cage. Supplied by Netflix.

*WARNING: spoilers if you haven't seen Marvel's Luke Cage*

Rob Kardashian admits his first crush was his sister Kim

Rob Kardashian once had a crush on his sister Kim Kardashian West.

Marvel's Luke Cage S1E3: Who's Gonna Take The Weight

Mahershala Ali in a scene from the TV series Marvel's Luke Cage. Supplied by Netflix.

*WARNING: spoilers if you haven't seen Marvel's Luke Cage*

Marvel's Luke Cage S1E2: Code of the Streets review

Simone Missick and Mike Colter in a scene from the TV series Marvel's Luke Cage. Supplied by Netflix.

*WARNING: spoilers if you haven't seen Marvel's Luke Cage*

Beach-side real estate starts at $85k on Fraser Coast

HERVEY BAY REAL ESTATE: You can buy this townhouse in Scarness for under $300k.

Live your beach-living dream locally.

Penthouse in beach paradise

Take in the beach front views from the balcony of 701/ 4-10 Douglas Street, Kirra.

This beachfront penthouse is the perfect place to enjoy the views.

Casuarina sets the benchmark in Tweed market

Our property market is as strong as it's been since the crisis

UPDATE: Former rodeo champ's sale rained out, now back on

Larkhill local Ken Consiglio is having an auction of most of the things on his property.

'People kept showing up and we had to turn them away'

Couple build their own 'tiny house' for $45k

Holly Bowen and Oli Bucher built their "tiny house" themselves, only hiring a plumber and an electrician. Photo/supplied

The house, which is built on a trailer and can be towed.

Sunshine Beach property breaks real estate record

The property overlooks Sunshine Beach, as the backyard lawn meets the sand.

Sunshine Beach mansion sale smashes real estate record