Marc Fosh’s recipes: Rhubarb

One of my favorite ingredients is in season right now. With its beautiful red stalks and addictive astringent flavor, rhubarb is what we like to call a “cooks ingredient”, because rather like quince, it needs to be cooked somehow before you can really enjoy it in all its glory. Despite often being an overlooked culinary gem, rhubarb also provides a number of nutritional benefits. It’s low in calories, a rich source of vitamin K and C, calcium and potassium. In addition, rhubarb has been shown to fight cancer, lower blood pressure, and help relieve indigestion. Botanically, rhubarb is a vegetable but in the kitchen it is basically treated as a fruit and is normally cooked with plenty of sugar to counter balance its intense acidity. It goes well with both ginger and strawberries along with orange, vanilla, pear, coconut, almond, lemon and rosewater.

Right now, we are serving rhubarb as a garnish for our local suckling pig with anise, but at home I love to make a classic crumble or a simple Panna cotta flavored with rhubarb and rosewater. It’s a great composition!

Rhubarb & Ginger crumble

Serves 4

  • 500g rhubarb, chopped into large chunks
  • 120g sugar
  • 3tbsp red wine (optional)
  • 3tbsp water
  • A pinch of powdered ginger

FOR THE CRUMBLE

  • 100g unsalted butter, chilled
  • 100g plain flour, sifted
  • 100g Demerara sugar
  • 80g ground almonds
  • Pinch of salt

Method

1 Place the chopped rhubarb in amedium-sized pan; add the sugar, wine, water & ginger.

2 Cook and cook over a medium heat until the fruit starts to soften and releases its juices, about 15-20 minutes.

3 Pour the rhubarb into a medium baking dish.

4 Heat oven to 200C / 180C fan / gas 6.

5 Place the flour, Demerara sugar, almonds and butter in a food processor until the mixture resembles course breadcrumbs.

6 Spread the crumble topping evenly and generously over the fruit, and bake for 20 minutes until the fruit is bubbling hot and the topping is golden.

7 It is needed warm with vanilla ice cream or custard.

Panna cotta with roasted rhubarb & rosewater

Serves 4

For the roasted rhubarb:

  • 500g rhubarb, cut into 3cm pieces
  • 2 tbsp caster sugar
  • 4 tbsp apple juice
  • ½ tsp rosewater syrup

For the panna cotta

  • 75g caster sugar
  • 150ml cream
  • 2 leaves gelatine, soaked in a bowl of water until soft, squeezed dry
  • 300ml buttermilk

Method

1 For the roasted rhubarb, preheat the oven to 200C / 400F / Gas 6.

2 Place the rhubarb onto a roasting tray, sprinkle over the sugar then drizzle over the apple juice.

3 Roast in the oven for 8-12 minutes, or until just tender. Blend 125g of the roasted rhubarb to a purée in a food processor and add the rosewater syrup. Reserve the remaining roasted rhubarb.

4 For the panna cotta, bring the sugar and cream to a simmer in a pan, stirring continuously until all of the sugar has dissolved.

5 Add the softened gelatine leaves and continue to simmer until dissolved.

6 Add the rhubarb purée and stir until well combined, then remove from the heat and set aside to cool slightly.

7 Add the buttermilk and stir until well combined.

8 Place four plastic molds or ramekins onto a tray.

9 Place a piece of the reserved roasted rhubarb into the bottom of each of the molds and pour the panna cotta mixture on top.

10 Chill in the fridge for 1-2 hours, or until set.

11 To serveremove the panna cotta from the fridge.

12 Briefly dip the base of each into a bowl of boiled water.

12 Gently slide a knife around the edge of each of the four panna cotta’s and turn each out into the center of a serving plate.

13 Spoon the remaining reserved rhubarb, and the juices, around the edge of each of the four serving plates.

(Reheat the roasted rhubarb if desired.)

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