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February 18, 2011

It’s still quite definitely winter here in Sheffield, but I’m loving the two things that are for me a definite sign that spring is on its way. First, the snowdrops in our garden – quite my most favourite flowers (along with all my other favourites) – and second, the marvellous Yorkshire forced rhubarb.

I wrote about this last year and offered a recipe as well. But eating it again at the weekend, I realised that one recipe is just not enough for this superlative vegetable (yes, it is a vegetable, although it seems to me to behave more like a fruit). So if you are lucky enough to be able to get hold of some, can I suggest you try Delia Smith’s simple rhubarb compote, which really makes the most of the flavour and ensures the rhubarb stays chunky rather than disintegrating into pulp? I served it with some melt-in-the-mouth preserved ginger and oat biscuits, also from Delia. Say what you like about her headmistressy style, her recipes always work.

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. February 18, 2011 10:04 pm

    I adore rhubarb too, especially when paired with figs. ( We like to live dangerously) ! I’ve not had success with it at the allotment – shaming! – although my neighbours do. So I now have some new crowns planted and hope to keep faith until at least next year when it should be ready to pull.

    Who’d have thought that rhubarb would command such a price though?

    • Joanna permalink*
      February 19, 2011 8:28 am

      I deliberately left the price on because I thought it was so shocking! People pay it though – this particular greengrocer is always sold out by lunchtime on a Saturday. I suppose it is partly this expensive because it is reared so elaborately. Good luck with your new crowns this year.

  2. February 18, 2011 10:23 pm

    We’re waiting (not too patiently, I might add) for the first of the snowdrops to appear around here. The 19-inches of snow we got a couple of weeks ago *finally* melted during a warm-up yesterday, so hopefully they’ll be appearing shortly. They’re always a welcome sign that spring is truly on its way!

    I love rhubarb too, and am eagerly awaiting its return to the market, or its return to my in-laws’ garden – whichever comes first! (Lucky for us, they always share.)

    I love pretty much anything with rhubarb, but especially a tart recipe I discovered last year at Smitten Kitchen:
    http://smittenkitchen.com/2010/05/rustic-rhubarb-tarts/
    (In fact, if you search ‘rhubarb’ on that site, you’ll find lots of good recipes there. The almond cake with strawberry-rhubarb compote is to die for!)

    • Joanna permalink*
      February 19, 2011 8:49 am

      Yay! A fellow rhubarbophile (I just made that word up). I have looked at the tarts and feel I must go to the shops *immediately* in order to be able to make them *today*. Thank you!

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