For me April is rhubarb month. I can’t get enough of the stuff. I suspect the rest of my family get rather bored of it, but not me. Rhubarb crumbles, fools, cake and salsa… I’m not quite sure what it is – the vibrant colour, that distinctive sharp flavour, its sheer Englishness, or the simple fact that something that grows in such abundance like a weed could taste so good? Friends with rhubarb in their gardens know now to bring their surplus to me. Continue reading “Spiced rhubarb compote with whipped ricotta and honey”
It’s that time of year when fresh fruit and vegetables are in glorious abundance. I really should be pickling and preserving, and I fully intend to soon, but for the moment most of our fruit seems to be making its way into compotes of one kind or another.
Fruit compotes are such an easy way to transform a huge pile of fresh fruit into a luscious bowlful of sweet, saucy pleasure. Make lots, as it keeps in the fridge for a few days. Simply tuck into your compote just as it comes or serve with creme fraiche or yoghurt for a delicious and healthy desert. My family’s favourite way to eat it is layered with thick, creamy Greek yoghurt and homemade granola for a light yet satisfying breakfast.
We’re enjoying vast volumes of plum and apple compote, making the most of fruit from our own and friends’ trees. Plums and apples both work terribly well combined with strong spice flavours; in this recipe, I’ve used star anise, cinnamon and vanilla. It really is heavenly. You’ll frequently find me surreptitiously tucking into it straight from the bowl in the fridge when no-one else is looking.
Spiced plum and apple compote
400g plums, stoned and roughly chopped
2 or 3 eating apples, peeled, cored and chopped
juice of 1 orange
½ tsp cinnamon
1 star anise
1 vanilla pod, seeds scraped
4 tbsp demerara sugar
Place the ingredients in a medium saucepan, give it all a good stir and bring to a gentle simmer over a medium heat. Cook for around 10 to 15 minutes until the fruit is soft and just beginning to break up. Leave to cool and remove the star anise before serving.
This compote is my entry into the #AgaInspiredRecipes challenge hosted by Rix Petroleum. The theme this month is cooking with plums.
Take part in the Recipes for Life challenge and you could see your dish featured in SWALLOW’s new charity cookbook!
We are now well and truly into rhubarb season, as Sarah who works for SWALLOW knows only too well. She has a huge patch of rhubarb in her garden and she doesn’t know what to do with it. So this month we are using the Recipes for Life challenge to help Sarah out by providing her with lots of delicious ideas on how she can put her rhubarb to good use.
Of course, the rules of the Recipes for Life call for a trio of ingredients, and so we’re teaming the rhubarb with lemon and spice – ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, chilli, cardamom, star anise – whichever spices take your fancy and tickle your taste buds. All you have to do to enter the challenge is to combine these three ingredients to make a tasty, simple and wholesome dish and post it on your blog. Make sure any other ingredients you include are easy to come by.
We’re using Recipes for Life to come up with a stock of easy recipes for members of SWALLOW’s cookery club to make in their sessions. SWALLOW is a fab charity based in Midsomer Norton in South West England, supporting adults with learning disabilities to lead more independent lives. The challenge is running for six months and at the end, the best recipes will be included in SWALLOW’s new cookery book to help raise much-needed funds for the charity.
Recipes for Life: how to enter
- Display the Recipes for Life badge (shown above) on your recipe post, and link back to this challenge post.
- You may enter as many recipe links as you like, so long as they are based on the three main ingredients selected for this month and accompanied only by everyday items.
- Send your recipe URL to me at vanesther-at-reescommunications-dot-co-dot-uk, including your own email address and the title of your recipe or post. The closing date this month is Tuesday 28 May 2013.
- If you tweet your post, please mention #RecipesforLife, @BangerMashChat and@SWALLOWcharity in your tweet and we will retweet everyone we see.
- Feel free to republish old recipe posts, but please add the information about this challenge and the Recipes for Life badge.
- As entries come in, links to these will be added to this page and at the end of the month there will be a round-up of all entries received.
- SWALLOW staff and members will choose their favourite recipe at the end of each month, and the winner will receive a small prize.
- A selection of recipes entered each month will be featured in the SWALLOW cookbook to be published later this year, helping the charity to raise much-needed funds for its ongoing work.
As my first entry, here’s a very simple rhubarb compote. It’s lovely served with roast duck, pork or lamb, and I’m also rather partial to it in a big thick cheese sandwich.
knob of butter
small onion, chopped
1 tsp chopped ginger
½ tsp mixed spice
150g rhubarb, chopped
handful of sultanas or raisins
2 tbsp apple juice
2 tbsp lemon juice
Melt the butter in a pan and gently cook the onion and ginger until soft and golden. Stir in the mixed spice and cook for a couple of minutes.
Add the rhubarb and dried fruit and mix well to coat the fruit in the spicy butter. Cook for a few minutes before adding the apple and lemon juice. Stir and allow to stew gently for around ten minutes until the rhubarb is soft and mushy but still holds its shape. Serve at room temperature.
- Rhubarb, Ginger and Lemon Fool from Under The Blue Gum Tree
- Rhubarb and Lemon Scones from The Garden Deli
- Rhubarb, Lemon and a Spice from Fun as a Gran
- Rhubarb and Vanilla Jam from Utterly Scrummy Food for Families
- Rhubarb Crumble Muffins from Chez Foti
- Spiced Rhubarb and Lemon Sorbet with Cinnamon Cookies from Bangers & Mash
- Rhubarb Ripple Ice Cream with Hazelnut Oat Clusters from Elizabeth’s Kitchen
- Rhubarb, Lemon and Ginger Friands from JibberJabberUK
- Spiced Lemon & Rhubarb Cheesecake from Rich In Flavour
- Spiced Rhubarb & Lemon Muffins from Farmersgirl Kitchen
- Rhubarb Syllabub from Fun as a Gran
- Lavender Poached Rhubarb with Ginger Custard Cream from How to Cook Good Food
- Fennel Rhubarb Foolish from Edible Things
- Rhubarb Ripple Ice Cream with Mini Spiced Lemon Cookies from The Crazy Kitchen
- Pork and Rhubarb Curry with Lemon Pilau Rice from Spurs Cook
- Moroccan Lamb & Rhubarb with Lemon & Coriander Cous Cous from The Crazy Kitchen
- Rhubarb, Lemon and Ginger Cake from JibberJabberUK
- Rhubarb and Custard Crumble Pizza from The Crazy Kitchen
- Lemon and Rhubarb Pudding from The Crazy Kitchen
- Cheese and Rhubarb Chutney Tart from The Crazy Kitchen
- Rhubarb Ice Cream with Lemon Spiced Biscuits from The Grumbling Tummy
- Poached Rhubarb Spaghetti from The Good Stuff
- Rhubarb Cinnamon Cake from Bangers & Mash