FEBRUARY: RHUBARB

BRITISH, SEASONAL AND SUSTAINABLE PRODUCE CHAMPIONED EACH MONTH BY CHEF CRAIG HENNESSEY AT THE ROBIN HOOD INN

CHAMPION OF THE MONTH The start of the Forced rhubarb season provides a welcome break in the fresh produce when there are few new British ingredients to grab our attention.


Eagerly anticipated in the Yorkshire triangle, the Although the prime season is quiet brief, the quality is exceptional. A small area of nine square miles in West Yorkshire has been granted Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) status in 2010.

(much like Parmesan and Stilton)


It is highly regarded by chefs and caterers on account of its complex flavour, low acidity, health benefits and dazzling colour.





You may not know that the rhubarb is grown without light ('forced') in dark muggy sheds.


I've visited these sheds. The atmosphere is warm, humid and bizarre lit by candlelight, marked by the squelch of boots in the soil, the creaking of the rhubarb as it grows and the snapping of the picking process as the stalks are tugged from the root.


Wellocks search for the most special ingredients for chefs and caterers and now offer home delivery nationwide.



THE FACTS

Forced rhubarb is full of goodness, so not only are you getting a delicious vegetable but a healthy one too:

It has proven health benefits & contain ideal levels of oxalic acid, which helps to cleanse and detoxify the body, and high concentrations of polyphenols - special molecules in plants with powerful antioxidant properties.


Rhubarb is a good source of magnesium and a very good source of dietary fibre & vitamin C.

It is a very good source of vitamin K1, providing around 26–37% of the RDA in a 100g serving. also containing calcium, potassium and manganese. It is also low in saturated fat, sodium and very low in cholesterol

what you eat can make a huge difference to your cholesterol and triglyceride levels and your heart health.


Whether your cholesterol has crept up over the years or you have a genetic condition, eating rhubarb can help to lower your blood pressure, prevent diabetes and keep to a healthy weight. It can help you feel good too.



FROM THE BAR:



We are spoiled for choice when it comes to getting rhubarb in to drinks.


locally Eva organics produce a delicious rhubarb and apple juice


For a great cocktail we recommend to fill a copa glass with ice and add


50ml rhubarb gin

250ml Eva organics rhubarb & apple juice

125ml fevertree tonic

add Hay! straws for a sustainable spring cocktail



CHEF SAYS...


BUYING Look for firm but tender stalks with striking pink colour and pale leaves. Thinner stalks are not necessarily more tender; in fact thicker specimens can often be delicious.


STORING Kept in the fridge, fresh rhubarb will stay in reasonable condition for 1-2 weeks. Raw and cooked rhubarb freeze well.







COOKING

rinse and remove the poisonous leave before use. Cover stalks in caster sugar with grated ginger and bake in a moderate oven, or poach in a thick sugar syrup or orange juice and use in jellies, sorbets or fools. or even a sweetened compôte or chutney to serve with mackerel, roast pork, venison or sausages.


RECIPE OF THE MONTH

rhubarb and custard cheesecake




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