Today I…harvested my first rhubarb of the year.
VERY happy with that pile of pink stalks.
I trimmed off the leaves and ends and gave it a wash, then left it in some cold water while I went to look up a recipe.
When I got back to the kitchen, I was shocked to see the stalks had done THIS:
I chopped off the split ends and cut up the thicker stalks into chunks and cooked them in a saucepan with some brown sugar, a dash of vanilla extract and a little water until soft. I sliced up the thinner stalks and roasted them on a tray with some sugar until soft but still keeping their shape. Forgot to take a photo.
The stewed fruit went quite mushy and gave off a lot of juice. I strained it off and had a flash of inspiration! I remembered there was a packet of sugar free strawberry jelly on the shelf, I made it up with boiling water then added the rhubarb juice (which was oh-so-yummily flavoured with sugar and vanilla) then let it set in the fridge. We ate some of it this evening with a spoonful of the roasted rhubarb and a dollop of ice cream. It was lush! The mushy fruit has been frozen for now- I plan to use it in a rhubarb fool or maybe a pavlova topping. Or rice pudding. Or something.
The other ‘first’ today was our first British asparagus this season. I didn’t grow it, I spotted it at the supermarket ( only 79p a pack in Aldi- amazing value!) The spears were tumbled in a little extra virgin rapeseed oil and griddled on a hot – er, griddle – until charred and stripy then I added a knob of butter and a twist of salt to the pan. I’m not kidding, they were amazing. Me and Martin scoffed the lot, standing next to the pan, smearing the asparagus in the buttery juices. All you could hear were mumbled ‘oohs’ and ‘aahs’ and ‘mmms’- real kitchen porn. ( sorry kids, if you are reading)
No photos of the asparagus I’m afraid- in too much of a hurry to taste it to even think of taking a picture.
So, a Sunday full of ‘foody’ firsts. The best of British on a plate.
Well…not on a plate exactly… straight out of the pan, actually, which also saved on washing up. And, unusually for me, there was no evidence ‘downmyfront’.