Rhubarb – such a delicious, yet funny looking word. The longer I spent fiddling wiht and formatting the text in the photo above, the more convinced I became that I had spelt rhubarb wrong, then had to resort to Google to check.
Last weekend I’d searched high and low in my patch of West London for some rhubarb which I had to buy for a recipe commission. In my local shops and regular supermarket there was none to be found. Eventually I visited a different supermarket and was disappointed to discover that their rhubarb was Dutch rather than British; reluctantly I put two packets into my basket, picked up some green vegetables for smoothies, and then happily discovered some rhubarb in the reduced section that was British and also from Kent.
Win, win, win for my wallet, food miles and for British food!
Buying local food is something that we struggle with living in central London. There are some farmers markets, but it is not really that local. I compromise by looking for British produce; preferably from the home counties – but it is complex – most supermarket produce, even loose items come with some sort of plastic packaging in the crates, in the market by and large the produce comes out of a cardboard box, I buy by the scoop and carry home in a reusable fabric bag. No plastic, but more food miles and certainly far cheaper.
Rhubarb needs very gentle cooking, over-cook it and it will completely disintegrate, under-cook it and it is tart and sour, it goes from under to over cooked in a matter of seconds making it a perfect candidate for sous vide experimentation. This worked a treat – perfectly cooked and flavoured rhubarb which retained its shape and had some texture and bite once cooked.
I added a tiny piece of Thai ginger and a sliver of lemon zest (I’d usually use orange but the fruit bowl was nearly empty) to the sous vide bag; the nature of sous vide cooking intensifies flavours, so go easy and add far less than you would normally do. For a more classic rhubarb compote use orange zest and omit the ginger.
Once cooked, store in a jar in the fridge and enjoy with natural yoghurt, or with cereal or porridge for breakfast.
Recipe: Sous Vide Rhubarb Compote
- 200 g rhubarb – cut into 1/2? pieces
- 40 g white sugar
- 4 oml water
- Small piece of Thai ginger root – about the size of 2 pieces of sweetcorn
- Strip of lemon or orange zest
- Place all the items into a sous vide vacuum bag and seal.
- Cook at 60C / 140F for an hour.
- Once cooked cool in a basin of cold water and transfer to a jar to store in the fridge.
Fuss Free Flavours has been provided with a Sous Vide Supreme machine, vacuum sealer & cooking bags to write about the machine and to develop some recipes. This is a competition where our readers can also win a prize. Follow the competition and Sous Vide Supreme on social media #sousvidegourmet, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram
Sending this to Ren’s Simple & in Season, and Elizabeth’s Shop Local events.
Dannii @ Hungry Healthy Happy
I love rhubarb, but sadly my husband hates it (even the smell of it cooking makes him gag), so I don’t cook it very often. To me it is very comforting and reminds me of being a kid as my Nan always used to make the best rhubarb crumble. It is one of those things that I have never attempted to make myself as it would never compare. I might have to try though.
You need to treat yourself the rhubarb next time your husband goes away!
What Kate Baked
I’ve been baking a fair bit with rhubarb of late too- we’re really fortunate to have a local greengrocers opened near us last year with a fantastic selection of seasonal produce. Without meaning to sound too gushing, it has genuinely transformed our eating habits as we are able to rely less on supermarkets and buy much more local, British fruits and vegetables. Lovely, bright, cheery photos accompanying the recipe Helen.
Thank you Kate.
I am still sad that my local fruit and veg co-op has stoppped. not always seasonal, but essential for those on very limited budgets.
Mmmmm. Rhubarb Compote with yesterday’s oats could be interesting n
Oh I miss our rhubarb. For some reason we’ve been unable to grow it down on our current plot. Our old allotment produced masses with no problem at all. At this time of year, some fresh tart fruit is so appealing. I hate all the packaging they put on food, especially fruit and veg which seems so unnecessary.
The old shrink wrapped cucumber! I went through a phase of dumping excess supermarket packaging at the till. I am wearied by the system now and have run out of steam.
That looks gorgeous Helen, and I love how it’s held its shape and colour so well. My rhubarb (you’re right, odd word) is almost big enough to start picking, yippeee!
I am envious of you having home grown rhubarb!
I don’t like all the gastro faffing but I think it’s dishes like this where I see some value. It seems you retained the colour too
I do not do the faffing either, like with a slow cooker you need to plan ahead. I think that if you do not eat meat you need to be far more creative about how you use the machine.
Oh how I want to dip into that bowl. I mean desperately!!!!
The problems I had finding the rhubarb! 4 supermarkets!
ooh I will have to try rhubarb in my sous vide when I get my hands on some!
Well worth a go Helen. It is taking a bit of getting used to but we are enjoying it.
I’m a big fan of rhubarb. I was out hanging laundry outside in the garden this morning and noticed my rhubarb patch is starting to force its way upwards with its thick red stems. Can’t wait to tuck in! Saying that… I am sure there is still some of last year’s crop left at the bottom of the deep freeze! Thanks for linking up your delicious recipe with #ShopLocal, now, I’m off to investigate this machine you speak of!
Time to empty that freezer before the fresh comes in Elizabeth! I am so jealous that you can grow your own. I so want a garden.
Nayna Kanabar (@SIMPLYF00D)
The only time i have cooked with rhubarb is in a rhubarb and apple pie.This looks delicious.
I love rhubarb!
This compote looks utterly delicious Helen. I’d love a sous vide as the potential to develop flavours sounds addictive.
It was very good indeed. Must make some more this week!
Tina @ The Spicy Pear
I love a good rhubarb compote and I bet it tasted lovely in the Sous Vide. I agree about the amount of waste involved in packaging, especially as some of it is not even recyclable! I prefer to buy vegetables loose, and find its cheaper too as I can pick one or two rather than taking six!
Excess packaging drives me bananas. I used to dump it at the till, but I find being cross about it exhausting.
I love rhubarb. Far too lazy to cook it though at the moment!
Fiona! Rhubarb is so so easy to cook!
Janice Pattie (@FarmersgirlCook)
Now that’s the best sous-vide recipe I’ve seen, almost worth getting one just to keep the rhubarb whole!
I was delighted with how it worked. Just wish I had more work top space for it.
Morgan @ Peaches, Please!
You are on a sous vide tear! The rhubarb compote looks lovely.
Thank you Morgan.
I never used to like rhubarb when I was younger Helen, I think it used to remind me of Triffids. But I absolutely adore the stuff now. Would love to try this!
It was delicious, and importantly, held its shape.
Adore rhubarb and how well it cooks in the sous vide – I’m really getting to like the sounds of sous vide cooking. Thank you for linking up to Simple and in Season!
Sous Vide is a very steep learning curve Ren!
I got scared off rhubarb as a child by a well-meaning gardening book that kept harping on their poisonous leaves, and only recently discovered the joys of cooking with it. Your compote looks delicious and the photographs are just beautiful. Impressive to use the sous vide method as well.
I quite forgot the leaves are poisonous! It is so delicious and so versatile!