How to make a simple rhubarb and puff pastry tart
‘Forced’ rhubarb, with no air miles attached, is now in season. Go grab some
Most imagine it’s a fruit, but rhubarb is actually a vegetable
Eating seasonally is an important aspect of contemporary food culture, though many people still ignore the fact there is a specific time and place for fruit and vegetables. We are much more used to popping in to the supermarket and grabbing avocados or strawberries in January and not really thinking about the ecological effects of everyday eating habits.
However, one unseasonal vegetable has just landed. It’s local and has no added air miles attached. Rhubarb which has been “forced” (or grown in the dark under pots) is now available even though the actual season for rhubarb is much later in the year.
Most imagine it’s a fruit, but rhubarb is actually a vegetable. The next time you get a chance, taste a little bit raw. Its acidic taste will remind you of wood sorrel (another of my favourite wild herbs).
The real reason we forget rhubarb is a vegetable is that it's rarely eaten as a vegetable. Can you recall a time you ever did? Poached rhubarb pairs does pair wonderfully with fish. Perhaps the next time you’re having monkfish, you should try it with some ginger poached rhubarb (ginger and rhubarb is a classic pairing, like tomato and basil). Or how about langoustines with sweet and sour rhubarb? Simply poach rhubarb pieces in white wine and serve with some grilled langoustines or prawns.
A simple rhubarb and puff pastry tart
The classic rhubarb tart is probably my go-to choice of dessert at this time of year. If you buy ready-made puff pastry, then this one is super simple.
Place 500g of chopped rhubarb in a pot with 250g of sugar and 125ml of water. If you want, add ginger, but I prefer dillisk for a more Irish feel. Stew until the rhubarb is soft and then remove from the heat.
Roll out your pastry and grease a tart tin or baking tray with sides . Line the tray with the pastry and pour in the rhubarb.
Bake for 15-20 minutes at 170 degrees until the pastry is golden brown.
Serve with loads of whipped cream.