I hope that I am not becoming to boring with all things rhubarb, the vegie patch and the greater garden… Today I am going back to Rhubarb, yet again. It is proving to be a great staple in our home.
A vegetable that masquerades as a fruit, this wonderful plant is so easy to grow, and even easier to use in the kitchen where it can be prepared for breakfast or dessert, turned into an accompaniment for your favourite pork dish or charcuterie or cheese platter, gosh, it can even be made into an amazing salad!
Last week as I was wandering around the garden looking for new colour,
I started pondering about using the now abundant rhubarb and pairing it up with some of the beautiful crimson roses from a climbing rose that we had rescued from the forest of trees last year. It is now providing a lovely show with a very heady scent.
In the kitchen, I set to work and came up with this delightful Rhubarb and Rose Petal Jam, perfect on the breaky brioche or paired with cream in a vanilla sponge.
I was wandering around the garden looking for new colour, when I started thinking about using the then abundance of rhubarb in the vegie patch, and pairing it up with some of the beautiful crimson roses covering one of the arbors as it was providing a lovely show with a very heady scent.
- 500 g rhubarb stalks only
- 500 g sugar
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 4 cups of loosely packed rose petals preferably red and strongly perfumed
- Rose water to taste optional
Wash the rhubarb and trim the ends before cutting it into 1 cm (1/2 inch) pieces.
Rinse the rose petals in cold water and drain.
Put the rhubarb into a medium, non-reactive pan, sprinkle over the sugar and drizzle with the lemon juice. Cover with the lid and place on a very low heat until the juices start running. Gradually increase the heat, stirring until the sugar has dissolved, and bring to the boil.
Add the rose petals and stir to evenly distribute them throughout the rhubarb mixture. Boil rapidly, until the jam reaches setting point. Once setting point is reached, remove the pan from the heat and skim off any scum and discard it.
If the jam does not have a lovely strong rose flavour, add a little rose water to taste.
Pour into warm sterilised jars, and seal. Once cooled, lable and store in a cool, dark place.
Lable and store in a cool, dark place.
- Use freshly picked, unsprayed rose petals from the garden. Do not buy them from a florist, as it is likely that they have been sprayed with pesticides, etc.
- If using roses with large petals, it is best to remove the heel of the petal (the white bit at the bottom).
- Delicious on freshly baked brioche, with scones and cream, or paired with cream to fill a vanilla sponge.
Then, having made a country terrine of duck, pork and chicken livers, I started playing with the idea of pairing it with a rhubarb accompaniment. My collection of recipe books had different recipes, some contained chilli, and while I do like a bit of chilli, I don’t like it in everything, and it just didn’t quite seem right for what I wanted. So with that in mind, I gathered spices of my own choosing and the following Pickled Rhubarb recipe was created.
- 7 stalks of rhubarb trimmed and washed
- 12 black peppercorns
- 2 cloves
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 juniper berries
- 3 small pieces of mace
- ½ cup white wine vinegar
- ¼ cup water
- 1/3 cup white sugar
- ½ tsp sea salt
Cut the rhubarb to equal lengths that will enable it to stand upright in your chosen jar, allowing 1 ½ cm of head space at the top.
In a small non-reactive pan, combine the vinegar, water, sugar and salt, bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves. When the sugar is dissolved, remove pan from the heat.
Pack the rhubarb and spices into a warm sterilised jar and pour the hot liquid over to cover.
Lable and store in a cool place.
An ideal accompaniment to a country terrine or pate, or added to a charcuterie or cheese platter.
And just because I can, I think tonight we might have a sweet treat of rhubarb and orange crepes,
a recipe inspired by one of Australia’s adored ladies of the kitchen – Maggie Beer. Her recipe can be found here.
Until next time…
Happy gardening & bon appétit!
- Growing Rhubarb
- Rhubarb and Rose Petal Jam
- Pickled Rhubarb
- Maggie’s Buckwheat Crepes with Roasted Rhubarb and Cinnamon Yoghurt