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Rhubarb

  • Soop Mar 1, 2010 02:19 AM

Made rhubarb crumble yesterday (http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/dat...

)

Really really good, the ginger (I used fresh) really makes it. Don't know why it's so expensive though. I paid £6.38 for 800g, and that's enough for 3 servings. 2 if you're hungry.

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  1. Thanks for the link! One of my favorite desserts I've ever had was rhubarb-strawberry crisp with ginger ice cream. Heaven.

    1. Thanks for the recipe, it looks yummy!

      If you have any land, rhubarb is super-easy to grow. I assume it's expensive now because it's not in season, so it has to be forced.

      I adore rhubarb, and my 2 plants supply me with enough to eat in season and freeze for year-round use.

      2 Replies
      1. re: visciole

        Oh I hope the two plants I put in a year or so ago will begin to thrive soon. I love it for savory as well, I make a rhubarb curry dish that I dream of all winter.

        1. re: coll

          As long as they get enough sun and moisture they should. Mine get to be about 4 feet across.

          The green variety seems to be more vigorous than the red. It also has a stronger flavor which I prefer, though it isn't as pretty when cooked.

      2. Reason for the expense will be because of forcing. Assuming it was British grown, almost certainly it'll have come from one of the 12 farms in the "rhubarb triangle" between Wakefield, Morley and Rothwell. As an aside, it was only last month that Yorkshire Forced Rhubarb was awarded Protected Designation of Origin status by the EU

        3 Replies
        1. re: Harters

          Is the Olroyd farm designated a Grand Cru? I went to the rhubarb festival last year and it was quite fascinating.

          1. re: mr_gimlet

            Dunno. But I see Janet Oldroyd describes herself as the High Priestess of Rhubarb, which I think has a nice ring to it. I may try an sneak in a tour of the farm sometime over the next fortnight.

          2. re: Harters

            It was from Yorkshire it said. Maybe that's another reason for the expense.

          3. It's pretty pricy here, even in season. I'm seriously thinking about putting in two roots in the later spring, as I love the stuff. Two roots, $12.50 from Burpee. Probably cheaper elsewhere.
            My Mom used to make a pie with cut rhubarb, sugar and a sweet, creamy egg-based custard, which was baked. Delicious, a great combo of sweet and tart. I always like that more than the ubiquitous strawberry-rhubarb pie variety. I have an old-time (well, from the 60's) recipe for the pie if anyone wants it.

            14 Replies
            1. re: bushwickgirl

              I was so used to finding it in back yards in my Illinois childhood that I damn near fainted when I went to buy some. It's like the gooseberries that grew like weeds in every alley: move a bit south and they won't bear fruit.

              Yes, strawberry-rhubarb pie is a bit of a cliché, but I discovered that if you forget the crust and just do it as a compote, with a drizzle of good balsamic and some ice cream on the side, it's a stunningly good combination. I've even done it with frozen fruits, and had guests melting all over the damn place.

              1. re: Will Owen

                Now that sounds tasty! Everyone used to have a few rhubarb plants on the edge of the garden when I was growing up, leastwise in NE.
                I wish gooseberries and red currants would become popular and more widely grown in the US. I rarely see them here, and the're always pricy when they're available.

                1. re: bushwickgirl

                  I do not know about rhubarb, but I know the problem with gooseberries (and red currants) is that although the plants will grow anywhere, they need a good long cold season to set fruit, with long periods below freezing. The areas where that is possible are moving northwards.

                  1. re: Will Owen

                    We used to grow champion rhubarb, right next to the bull pen. This was in SW Washington, where there wasn't a whole lot of freezing weather. Maybe the bull made a contribution to the rhubarb's excellence.

              2. re: bushwickgirl

                I paid about $6 for a box containing two plants at Agway, not sure where your closest one is but can't be that far. They had plenty right up front at whatever the correct time to plant is. If mine ever take off, I'll get your recipe for the pie. Although the custard sounds even better. Until now, I've bought big bunches at the local farmstands, and since it's also strawberry time then, I usually throw a few of berries into my curry too, rather than honey to sweeten. Since I make it with red lentils, it's a nice cheerful color when done.

                1. re: coll

                  No Agway in Brooklyn, but I'm sure I could find a supplier, maybe even Home Depot would carry them, they have plants.
                  It's a pie with a custard -like filling, more creamy than eggy. It's gets crusty and sugary on top after being baked.
                  You could make a nice rhubarb sauce and put it on a baked custard or vanilla pudding. Yum.

                  Coll-You get up very early every weekday, it seems. I haven't been to bed yet, no sleep for me tonight.

                  1. re: bushwickgirl

                    I was just thinking the same thing ;-) This is the only "me" time I get, by 6AM my real day starts and although I check in here if working from home, I don't have the time for extensive posting. It's a great way to wake up! And sleep has become somewhat elusive for me lately too.

                    I was thinking there are probably Agways right over one of the bridges, in Jersey or somewhere, if you ever get over that way. They had a big display of the rhubarb along with horseradish. I feel like it was right around this time of year. Don't get the horseradish unless you want acres upon acres of it, talk about easy to grow. I wonder what the people that bought our house thought, hope they like things spicy! The rhubarb not so much, I'm hoping it's one of those plants that take a few years to get going. Maybe I should check in on the Gardening board.

                2. re: bushwickgirl

                  Bushwickgirl, try to find someone who has a clump who will let you have an edge off it. Look on Gardenweb -- they have an NYC forum. Also, wherever you get it, plant it earlier than late spring. In my zone 6 garden (you're zone 7, I think), the stuff starts to pop in late March, and soon thereafter it gets too big to divide easily. I also recommend the green variety over the red, if you like a strong old-fashioned rhubarb flavor. Plan on each plant getting to be a 4-foot clump or bigger if it's in good soil and sun.

                  I make that custard-type pie all the time -- it's great with rhubarb. I use a slightly modified version of the recipe in an older "Joy of Cooking" for peach pie. Mmmmmmmmmm!

                  1. re: visciole

                    I'm so jealous of people who have access to fresh rhubarb. I think we did when I was a kid.

                    it should grow wild like a weed. On the bad side it's poisonous when not cooked, so maybe dogs would eat it and get sick?

                    1. re: Soop

                      The leaves are somewhat poisonous, because they contain large quantities of oxalic acid (the same stuff in spinach that makes your teeth feel gritty). However, I have never seen a dog (or any other animal, for that matter) try to eat it.

                      1. re: Soop

                        If raw rhubarb were poisonous, I'd never have made it into adulthood! I didn't eat a lot of it, but every so often I'd sneak a stalk from the row along an adjoining neighbor's backyard garden. In our little town we had big gardens in the middle of many blocks, and in some cases all the neighbors would pool their money and hire a guy to plow the whole center. No fences; you just planted what you knew was yours, and often wound up sharing what grew.

                        1. re: Will Owen

                          The stalks aren't poisonous, raw or cooked. It's only the big green leaves, which you never even see when you purchase rhubarb in the market.

                          I also like to tale an occasional mouth-puckering taste of the stuff raw!

                      2. re: visciole

                        I love the rhubarb custard version. Strawberry rhubarb pie seems too sweet to me too. I may have to think about putting some plants in.

                        As a kid, our plants were on the side of the house right near the dryer vent. The warm air really jumpstarted that rhubarb. Lots of rhubarb with snow still on the ground!

                        1. re: visciole

                          Ok, thanks for the info. Gardenweb it is. Actually I'm in Z6, close to the coast, with a nice sunny backyard. The weeds start coming up in late March/early April, so I guess I'll plant it then. Maybe one root of each color?
                          Not sure how much rhubarb is being grown in Brooklyn backyards, although I could be surprised!

                      3. Been out to dinner tonight. Yorkshire forced rhubarb out in an appearance in a dessert that's the best thing I've eaten in ages - parkin, ginger ice cream and the lightly poached rhubarb. I doubt whether the restaurant could have provided anything else so seasonal and local.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: Harters

                          Oh, where was that? The pub opposite the Olroyd farm does a rhubarb menu when the tours are on.

                          1. re: mr_gimlet

                            Weavers Shed @ Golcar (a Good Food Guide cooking 5 score - just about rightly so).