Gardening Magazine

Harvesting Rhubarb - and a Recipe

By Mwillis
Last year I transplanted my Rhubarb crowns to a new location, and I didn't pick any, so that it would have time to settle in and build up its strength. This year though, I feel able to pick some.
Harvesting Rhubarb - and a recipe
A couple of days ago I picked the eight stems you see pictured here. As is very evident from the photos, I have two Rhubarb plants and they are of different varieties. I think they are "Timperley Early" and "Victoria", but I wouldn't stake my life on it. Which one is which, I really don't know!
Harvesting Rhubarb - and a recipe
As I'm sure all experienced gardeners know, when you pick Rhubarb it is supposed to be best to remove the whole stem by giving it a sharp tug, not by cutting it. Don't ask me why!
Harvesting Rhubarb - and a recipe
This is the way I like to eat Rhubarb: remove and discard the leaves (they are poisonous). Wash the stalks and cut them into pieces about an inch long. Place them in a large, non-metallic dish, and add a few pieces of peeled fresh ginger, a tablespoonful of sugar (or sugar-substitute for the diabetics), and the juice of one large orange. After squeezing the orange, I bung the pieces of skin into the dish too - they all add flavor and are easily removed after cooking.
Harvesting Rhubarb - and a recipe
Cover the dish with foil and cook in the oven at 130C for about an hour, testing occasionally to see if the Rhubarb is cooked. Fresh Rhubarb cooks at varying rates, and you don't want it to go too mushy. It's cooked when the tip of a pointed knife slides in easily.
Harvesting Rhubarb - and a recipe
When cooked, allow the Rhubarb to cool, remove the pieces of ginger and the orange skins and then decant it into another (preferably lidded) receptacle of some sort and put it in the fridge. It will keep for several days if you allow it to. Actually it is best very soon after cooking, when it is just warm. Serve spooned over a couple of scoops of vanilla ice cream, or with a spoonful of Cornish clotted cream.

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