Rhubarb is a truly special ingredient, with its vivid pink colour and distinctively tangy taste. The stalks of this versatile vegetable can be stewed, poached, roasted and puréed in a range of delicious sweet and savoury dishes as well as drinks. Use it in a comforting crumble, a classic syllabub, a fruity chutney or a zingy kebab sauce – the possibilities are endless!
There are two types of rhubarb grown in the UK. Forced rhubarb (available from January to early February) is grown under pots and has a more delicate texture and flavour than maincrop rhubarb (available in springtime, from late March – June) which is grown more slowly outdoors and has a deeper flavour. Both varieties will be too tart to eat on their own, so need to be cooked with sugar to sweeten them.
Whilst some may argue that rhubarb is at its best when simply roasted and served with ice cream, we think that there’s so much more to this rosy veg. Check out our list of favourite recipes for a mixture of traditional and new ways to serve rhubarb.
1. Rhubarb crumble
Kicking off with a comfort food classic, our rhubarb crumble is the ultimate pudding to share with family and friends. Indulge in this heavenly combination of sharp fruity filling with sweet crumbly topping and creamy vanilla custard.
Try more rhubarb crumble flavours such as rhubarb & strawberry crumble with custard, or rhubarb & ginger crumble. We’ve also recreated the flavours of this dish in a delicious rhubarb & custard pie with butter crumble.
2. Rhubarb gin
With the craze for gin not showing any sign of slowing down, fans of this tipple will love our rhubarb infused version. Readily instagrammable and super refreshing on a hot day, this pretty pink drink will go down a treat.
3. Rhubarb & custard meringue tart
Bake our eye-catching rhubarb & custard meringue tart for an impressive dinner party showstopper. Blitz some of the rhubarb and combine it with the custard filling for an extra flavour injection, then layer the remaining stems over in a pretty pink moisaic arrangement. The mini Italian meringues are also tinged with rhubarb and make a dainty topping to crown this pudding glory.
If you can’t decide on a tart or crumble then why not get the best of both worlds in a rhubarb & almond crumble tart. Another dazzling dinner party dessert comes in the form of our dreamy rhubarb ripple & gingerbread cheesecake topped with elegant swirls of rhubarb and ginger compote. Fans of classic French dessert will also love our colourful rhubarb tarte tatin, delicately flavoured with star anise.
4. Rhubarb crumble muffins
Another tasty reinvention of the classic crumble comes in the form of our moreish rhubarb crumble muffins. These generously sized bakes have a beautifully moist texture from the rhubarb stalks, whilst the crunchy topping captures the essence of a crumble.
Create more brilliant bakes with these tempting rhubarb & custard muffins. The oozing custard centre gives these plump sponges a luxurious quality akin to a self saucing pud, althouth they are still delicious when eaten cold.
4. Rhubarb & vanilla jam
Make a batch of our fabulously fruity Rhubarb & vanilla jam and spread liberally on toast. This compote also works well when swirled in a creamy porridge or yoghurt.
Try our rhubarb & ginger jam for a flavour variation or serve rhubarb compote with vanilla crème fraîche & pancakes.
5. Rhubarb & custard cake
It’s only natural that the classic combination of rhubarb and custard would be reinvented in a light and fruity cake and we are so glad it was. Use homegrown roasted rhubarb to maximise on flavour. Enjoy a slice of this moist sponge whilst relaxing with a cup of tea or serve with a dollop of yoghurt for dessert.
We’ve got plenty more rhubarb-laden baked goods for you to try:
6. Rhubarb & date chutney
There’s plenty to celebrate in our punchy rhubarb & date chutney which provides the perfect mix of sweet and tartness. Leave this spicy spread to mature for a month to develop a full-bodied flavour. It will provide the perfect accompaniment to cheeses, pâté, popaddoms and cold meats, or is equally delcious when slathered in sandwiches.
If you’re short on time, then rustle up our simpler rhubarb chutney which only takes 5 minutes to prepare.
8. Rhubarb & ginger syllabub
For more pots of creamy rhubarb goodness, dig your spoon into a white chocolate mousse with poached rhubarb, or make some litttle rhubarb & strawberry meringue pots for a low-fat version which uses only five ingredients. If you are looking for a stunning party centrepiece, why not whip up our boozy rhubarb fool trifle.
9. Russian shashlik with rhubarb sauce
As well as being a sweet sensation, rhubarb makes an excellent addition to savoury dishes. These Russian-style lamb kebabs are enhanced with a drizzle of rhubarb sauce. They’ll be great to share with friends and family at a casual gathering or spring barbecue if you are lucky with the weather.
For an elegant dinner party dish, serve roasted rhubarb alongside pork fillets stuffed with black pudding.
10. Rhubarb and ricotta bread & butter pudding
Combine rhubarb with creamy ricotta in a classic bread & butter pudding which is guaranteed to please a crowd.
Experiment with this ingredient in other tradiitonal desserts such as a rhubarb steamed pudding or go further afield and whip up an American-style rhubarb & orange slump complete with fluffy dumplings and a fruity sauce.
If these indulgent puds don’t satisfy your rhubarb cravings, then why not pair them with a vibrant pink rhubarb & star anise sorbet. As well as jazzing up your pudding bowl, this zingy ice cream acts as a perfect palate refresher to round off the meal.
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