If there is one thing guaranteed to grow in my garden, it’s rhubarb. Every winter I look at my root, wish I’d dug it up and separated it and assume the worse. Then, as the soil get a bit warmer around February/March, the little green and pink stalks poke through, and they won’t stop until summer. This rhubarb juice really makes the most of it.
My garden rhubarb is tarter than the forced variety, but for me this is a plus- I love food with a bit of bite. It is so versatile: use it in cakes and puddings and alongside oily fish such as mackerel or to cut through the gamey richness of venison.
I like to drink my rhubarb. Add a gentle heat, sugar and spice and you’ve got a delicious long drink as it is, but it is also the perfect vehicle for a splash of gin, or vodka. In fact that reminds me of the time I made rhubarb vodka and it went mouldy but that is another story!
A great summer receipe, perfect for children and non-drinkers. Or add a splash of gin for a long treat!
- 2 rhubarb stalks
- 1 star anise
- 1tbsp caster sugar
- 2 satsumas (or 1 orange) zest and juice
- Heat oven to 150c.
- Wash and pat dry the rhubarb and cut each in to four or five pieces. Place in a baking dish.
- Grate the zest of the satsumas over the top, and then squeeze the juice on too. Break the star anise in two or three and place on top. Sprinkle with the sugar.
- Cook in the middle of the oven for 25 minutes then allow to cool.
- Discard the star anise. Scrape the rhubarb and any juice into a blender with 400ml water and blend for 60 seconds.
- Serve chilled, over ice.
Add more sugar at the blending stage if you prefer it a little sweeter. But don't go overboard as you can't take it out.