|Rhubarb and orange zest|
I admit I can be a real grumpy grouch sometimes. I can be cranky and demanding but I can also be easily pleased by the simplest things. Moments of pure, simple warmth that you know you will remember. I’ve had that feeling twice this week, once when the boyfriend came home on Friday night with a little iris plant. He is a deserves a gold star.
|Pretty little iris|
The second time I had that feeling was sitting on the backdoor step of my Grandpa’s house. We spent a lot of time there when we were growing up and it is always so nice to be back there spending time with him. The particular moment was sitting in the sunshine trimming up the rhubarb I had just picked from the bottom of the garden. Even the trug was beautiful: all wooden and lovely.
Forced rhubarb starts appearing around January and your can spot it by the gnarly, yellowish leaves due to it being grown in the dark. Field rhubarb can be bought from mid April. It will probably have it’s big dark green leaves cut off. Whilst it may be tougher it can be more flavoursome. Either way I’m a big rhubarb fan.
I took me a while to decide what use I would put my wonderful rhubarb to. I really wanted to make the most of this treat. I toyed with the idea of a panecotta with a rhubarb crisp but it has been warm this weekend so in the end the idea of the tartish rhubarb compote with cool vanilla ice cream won over.
This compote is a real all-rounder; it can be eaten with yogurt and granola, as the base for a crumble or even with some roast duck perhaps.
|Rhubarb, orange and ginger compote|
Rhubarb, orange and ginger compote serves 4
700g of clean rhubarb cut between 2 and 5 cm strips depending on the thickness of the stalks
150g caster sugar
juice of 1 orange
zest of 2 oranges
2tbs of very finely chopped root ginger
Put everything in a pan on a medium heat and let it cook down for 5 minutes or so.
Try to refrain from stirring it every 5seconds as it will quick turn to baby food if you give it a battering.
I prefer to give the pan a swirl instead.
You may need to add more sugar depending on your rhubarb.
Mine took about 5 minutes to soften.