Rhubarb is here! Are you sweet or savoury?

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Want to ignite your taste buds?

Well, the most British sign of Spring is here. Tender, young March rhubarb!

Grown outdoors in the gentle countryside surrounding Worthing, this leafy vegetable is ready for picking and enjoying.

Looking for a tart, fresh flavour you simply won’t find anywhere else? Often treated more a fruit than a vegetable, rhubarb is cooked up in compotes, pies, cakes and a myriad of desserts to offset it’s sharp flavour. But rhubarb is, in fact, wonderfully versatile, and adds a kick to savoury creations.

How to eat:

Prehistoric looking, rhubarb’s large, flat leaves are certainly striking. But – as appealing as they may seem, you won’t want to eat them as they contain high levels of oxalic acid. Their tender, pink bushed stalks, however, are always safe – and are a positive Springtime treat.

Leave the leaves on until you’re ready to cook, as this will keep the plant fresher for longer. Fresh stalks should be firm (a little rubberby), and easy to snap.  Our Sussex rhubarb is new season – so you won’t need to peel. Simply slice, cook in your recipe until tender and enjoy!

Sweet

Simple Rustic Rhubarb Pie

You’ll need:
175g flour
80g very cold Sussex unsalted butter
1 free-range Sussex egg
80ml cold water
6 large stalks of Sussex rhubarb, sliced
85g sugar
Salt

Method:
First, make the pastry. Combine the flour, 10g of the sugar, butter and a pinch of salt in a large mixing bowl. Using your fingers, combine well until you form fine ‘crumbs’, and make a well for the egg. In a separate container, beat the egg and water until combined, and pour into the well.

Gently, so as not to overwork, combine the egg and flour mixture to form a dough (adding more cold water if necessary). Chill the dough for 30 minutes, before rolling to a 5mm thick, circular shape.

While the dough is cooling, prepare the filling. Simply toss the rhubarb and caster sugar in a separate bowl as set aside until the dough is ready. When ready, simply place the rolled out dough into your desired baking tray and place the rhubarb-sugar mixture in the centre. Turn in the edges of the dough, so that the juice from the rhubarb stewing may not escape, but leave the very top exposed.

Cook for approximately 30 minutes at 180c. Cool and enjoy with a generous serving of Sussex ice-cream!

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Savoury

If sweet isn’t your thing – or you’re just itching to try something new, then this let this Rhubarb Lamb Tagine bring some spice into your life this March.

Rhubarb Lamb Tagine

You’ll need:
2 lbs of high-welfare, organic Sussex lamb, diced
A generous dab of Sussex butter
3 cups of chopped Sussex rhubarb
2 medium biodynamic Sussex onions, diced
250g of fine beans
2 cups of stock
3 cloves of garlic
1/2 hot chilli, diced
2 tsp black pepper
1 tsp cumin
2 tsp sweet paprika
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp allspice
1 tsp ground ginger
2 cans of diced tomatoes
2/3 cup of diced dried apricots
Wild garlic, finely sliced, to serve

Method:
In a heavy bottomed pan, melt the butter an saute the onions, garlic and chilli until they start to soften. Add the spices and continue to cook for another minute to meld the flavours.

Add the rhubarb, apricots, tomatoes, stock and lamb. Combine, cover and simmer on a low heat until the lamb is tender. When tender, add in the green beans, and gently simmer until the beans are cooked, but still a pleasant green colour.

Serve with rice or local potatoes and sprinkle with wild garlic.

Got the taste for rhubarb? Get your fresh, local rhubarb online here.


 Image 2: Rhubarb Tart by stu_spivak/ FLICKR (CC)

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Rhubarb is here! Are you sweet or savoury?

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