Sweet Barley with Ginger Poached Rhubarb

We’ve never had barley as a sweet dish before (apart from this mixed grain/lentil congee), so when I saw this Barley Pudding recipe from The Guardian, I was intrigued. It also hit the spot with rhubarb which is shaping up to be the fruit of the season in our kitchen.

I made some adjustments to the original, as is my want. The original used A LOT of sugar, and I cut it by almost a third. That is plenty for our tastes, but feel free to add more if you prefer. Also I used far less water than indicated, and it was enough, but do keep a careful eye on the barley and the rhubarb as they cook, to make sure there is enough liquid.

Similar recipes include Char Grilled Stone Fruit with Scented Yoghurt, Strawberry and Rhubarb Jam, Beetroot and Rhubarb Salad, and Black Pepper Rhubarb with Gin Soaked Cumquats.

Browse all of our Barley recipes and all of our Rhubarb dishes.

Continue reading “Sweet Barley with Ginger Poached Rhubarb”

Strawberry and Rhubarb Jam

There are two camps in jam making. One camp insists that the fruit should be simmered with the acid (usually lemon juice) until the liquid is reduced and the fruit is soft, before adding the sugar. This softens the fruit and makes a fairly smooth jam.

The other camp likes to macerate the fruit in sugar to extract the juices for a more flavoursome jam where the fruit is not as tender and thus the jam is more chunky style.

I don’t mind either style, and it depends on the fruit and my mood of the day. The first way is definitely quicker – no overnight or day-long soaking – but I also quite love a chunky jam.

For this recipe we are using the maceration method. It is Rhubarb season and thus we are putting it to good use. I have written before about my previous aversion to rhubarb, but recently fell in love with it after making a simple, sweet dessert.

In this jam I used some lavender sugar – about half and half with plain sugar. You can add your own flavourings, should you care to. I do love a Strawberry and Black Pepper Jam.

Looking for something to have with the jam? Try Scones, Griddle Cakes or Crumpets.

Similar recipes include Sweet Barley and Ginger Poached Rhubarb, Strawberry Jam, Crab Apple Jelly, and Fig Jam with Black Pepper.

Browse all of our Jam recipes and all of our Rhubarb dishes. Or explore our Late Winter recipes.

Continue reading “Strawberry and Rhubarb Jam”

Sweet Rhubarb with Cloves and Black Pepper, Poppy Seeds and Gin Soaked Cumquats

I have had a life long aversion to rhubarb, ever since childhood. We grew a lot of rhubarb and it was served, stringy and under-sweetened at almost every meal while in season. It has taken until this year, decades later, for me to try it again. And only because I was given some rhubarb from a friend’s garden.

You will love this recipe. It is an alternative to your rhubarb with apples, or rhubarb pie. The jaggery adds that sweet earthiness, cloves add their magic, black pepper brings a bite without tasting peppery, and the poppy seeds add much needed texture.

I have used some of my Gin Soaked Cumquats to enliven the dish – it does need a little acid and these bring a sweet acidity to the dish. You can alternatively add some charred, sugar dipped lemon slices, candied orange or lemon peel, a little (just a little) pomegranate molasses or quince molasses, or even, if desperate, a squeeze of lemon.

Similar recipes include Beetroot and Rhubarb Salad, Apples with Lemon and Cinnamon, and Pears with Marsala. Also try our Sweet Orange Star Anise Sauce.

Browse our Rhubarb recipes, and all of our Desserts. Or explore our Late Winter dishes.

Continue reading “Sweet Rhubarb with Cloves and Black Pepper, Poppy Seeds and Gin Soaked Cumquats”

Beetroot and Rhubarb Salad

Rhubarb is a plant from my childhood. A country girl, we had a huge garden that comprised an orchard, a huge chicken run, room for ducks, a cow and a rambling vegetable garden. Along one fence grew rhubarb, tons and tons of it. Sadly, my mother was not an adventurous cook, and the rhubarb was always sour and stringy. I have never understood people’s passion for this ruby red stalk. It has never made it into our kitchen.

However, this recipe from our current project of cooking through the Ottolenghi cookbook, Plenty More, is intriguing, and the rhubarb is roasted rather than simmered into oblivion (sorry Mum). It is also part of a salad, with no pretensions of being a dessert. The recipe mixes roasted beetroot with the yoghurt and a dressing of maple syrup and pomegranate molasses. Lastly, the rhubarb and gorgonzola cheese are added. Gorgonzola seems such an unlikely addition, but the bite of the cheese and its creaminess pulls the dish together. Magnificent! The cheese adds lively highlight notes to the earthy-sweet-sour of the beetroot and rhubarb.

We’re coming into beet season, and all the different varieties mean you can play with colours and subtlety of flavour. Get golden, red and candy beets (which go pink on cooking) and you’re in for a dazzle.

As mentioned, this is an Ottolenghi dish from Plenty More – we are cooking our way through this book. We feel free to substitute ingredients that are not readily available in our local area.

It is Ottolenghi Cooking the Books Day on the blog – one of two days per month where we publish the latest recipes we have tried in our project of cooking from Ottolenghi’s books – those we have cooked directly and those we have been inspired by. Currently we are cooking from Plenty More, but not ignoring his other books completely. Note that I often massage the recipes to suit what is available from our garden and pantry. For the original recipes, check his books and his Guardian column.

Similar recipes include Sweet Barley and Ginger Poached Rhubarb, Beetroot, Yoghurt and Preserved Lemon Relish, Sweet Spiced Rhubarb, Roasted Beetroot with Maple Dressing, Roasted Beetroot with Roasted Garlic Salad and Walnuts, and Roast Beetroot with Cumin Seeds.

Our Ottolenghi dishes from Plenty More are here. We have written about our experiences cooking through this book. Or explore our Early Winter recipes.

Continue reading “Beetroot and Rhubarb Salad”