Roasted Rhubarb

It’s rhubarb season here in Yorkshire.  For those of you who don’t know about the joys of Yorkshire rhubarb here’s a little lesson for you:
The Rhubarb Triangle is a 9 square mile triangle in West Yorkshire.  In its heyday about 90% of the forced rhubarb in the world was grown here.  The rhubarb is grown in dark sheds, having spent 2 years growing outside, and is picked by candlelight.  You can apparently hear the rhubarb ‘pop’ as it grows as it grows so fast searching for light.  This fast growth produces really tender, sweet rhubarb.  It’s in season from about January to March in the UK and, most importantly, it is delicious!

We ate our roasted rhubarb over icecream but it’s great on its own, with cream, porridge, cheesecake, in a cake or nearly endless other options!  It has a real tang to it and can be a bit tart for my tastes but with something sweet it really takes off.  The colour is great too, I like anything pink so it’s a real winner with me!  Don’t eat the leaves though as they contain oxalic acid, which is poisonous.  You may be lucky enough to find forced rhubarb in the supermarket, Morrisons usually has it, but just at the minute it’s early in the season so markets are a more certain bet. 

Serves 4

500-600g rhubarb (about 4 stalks)
90g golden caster sugar

– Heat the oven to gas mark 6. 
– Rinse off the stalks and shake off any excess water. 
– Trim the leaves and any tough ends off. 
– Cut into finger sized chunks. 
– Place in a shallow baking dish and toss with the sugar. 
– Spread out so it is a single layer. 
– Cover with foil and place in the oven for 20 minutes until the sugar is melted
– Take the foil off and continue to cook for another 10 minutes until tender but the stalks remain intact.
– Serve hot for best results but cold for breakfast works too, it’s up to you!

(I’ve been having a problem with the kitchen lighting as a bulb has blown so this photo was taken with the flash, which shows better just how vividly coloured this rhubarb can be!)

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