WTF do I do with…rhubarb?

My default for rhubarb has always been crumble but, after returning from a trip to Sussex a couple of weeks ago with about a kilo of freshly-tugged stalks from my best friend’s new garden, I realised that I was going to be eating crumble for quite a while. And, knowing that I had no more than a few days before the rhubarb started to look a little less perky, I started hunting for recipes. The first one I tried was this cake, which I highly recommend; I made it in a slightly smaller tin so I didn’t need as much fruit as the recipe and it was glorious. Served warm with a little bit of vanilla ice-cream it might have been even better, but that isn’t the most practical option when you’re taking it to work.

The other was a Nigel Slater recipe for spiced roasted rhubarb to which I am, after making it twice, completely addicted. I’ve even made it (and anyone who knows me in the mornings will realise what a one-off this is) before getting ready for work, since I could see that the rhubarb was flagging and I didn’t want to waste it. Which gives you some idea how easy, fast and moreish this is. I highly recommend it with Greek or Turkish yogurt and a handful of this granola. It’s on repeat for ‘summer’ already.

PS And, yes, I know that’s two Nigel recipes in a row; I promise to widen my net for the next post.

For a good few days’-worth you will need:

Cupboard (or things you may already have)
honey, 3 tablespoons

Shopping list

fresh rhubarb, 400g
small orange
cinnamon stick
star anise, 2

How to
1. Preheat the oven to 160°C/140°C fan-assisted/gas 3.
2. Rinse the rhubarb stems and trim off the ends and any loose leaves. Cut the stalks into breakfast- or dessert-sized manageable pieces (I made them too long the first time I made this; I’d say a couple of inches or three is plenty) and place in a shallow baking tray.
3. Zest the orange (do it over the top of the rhubarb so you don’t lose any) and sprinkle the zest over the rhubarb. Then juice the orange and add the juice and the squeezed orange halves to the baking tray too.
4. Add the star anise, the cinnamon stick and squeeze or spoon over the honey.
5. Cover the tray with foil and bake for about 30 minutes, until the rhubarb is cooked through but still holding its shape.

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