Seasonal Ingredient of the Week: Rhubarb
The queen of crumbles, the ultimate porridge topper, a regular on the compote scene: there's nothing that rhubarb can't do well. Botanically speaking, it's actually a vegetable, but it's tart stalks are always treated as we would fruit - stewed or roasted with sugar to increase sweetness then added to desserts and puddings.
From days living in the North, where rhubarb is practically a way of life (force grown in what's known as the 'rhubarb triangle' around North Yorkshire, because obviously one crop a year is not enough), it's tart stalks have become a firm favourite in the kitchen. Picking apples from the tree and trimming rhubarb from next door's garden to bake into crumbles was as much a sign of spring as the daffodils and tulips sprouting.
Further afield (London to be precise) rhubarb tends to be a key fixture in small plates menus and elaborate cocktails aplenty this time of year. And quite understandably - their deep red colour and robust flavour makes them the perfect kitchen accompaniment.