You know you’re living in the countryside when you hear a strange noise that turns out to be nearby dairy cows rather than your mobile phone vibrating. Another surefire sign of being ensconced in country living is when a friend presents you with a bag of homegrown rhubarb from her neighbours’ garden (thanks Jo). Or when you meet up with friends for lunch and you head home with a bag of beetroot from their parent’s veg allotment. Or when your neighbour pops over with a carton of eggs laid by their very own chooks. Ah yes, these are the pleasures of being a country girl.
Meanwhile, I have a whole bunch of homegrown veg to deal with. I whipped the beetroot into a delectable batch of gluten-free beetroot and walnut brownies. The zucchini (courgette for all you Brits) were transformed into gluten-free zucchini and feta fritters smothered with buttermilk sauce.
As for the rhubarb, well my initial thought was to whip up a crumble like the gluten-free rhubarb and berry crumble I made a few months ago.
But that’s just predictable, so I decided to get all creative and come up with my own rhubarb compote to pour over vanilla bean ice-cream or swirl into Greek yoghurt. Now you’re talking.
I borrowed some inspiration from the wonderful Jamie Oliver who makes a lovely stewed rhubarb. My adaptations to Jamie’s recipe include substituting orange with ruby grapefruit, throwing in some stem ginger syrup, and changing around the quantities as I only had four sticks of rhubarb to play with. I also cooked my compote for about six times longer than Jamie as I was aiming for more of a sauce than a stew.
If you’re a marmalade-kind-of-person like me, this recipe is for you. The tartness of the grapefruit cuts through the sweetness of the other ingredients, resulting in a mouthful of zingy sweetness that hits the spot. You could serve this sauce warm, but I went for room temperature and swirled it into a bowl of Greek yoghurt with fresh figs on top. Lovely.
Rhubarb and ruby grapefruit compote
Adapted from Jamie Oliver
Makes enough to fill a jam jar
400g rhubarb (about 4 sticks), trimmed and roughly chopped
juice of 1/2 ruby grapefruit zest of a ruby grapefruit
50g caster sugar
1 piece stem ginger, finely chopped
2 tbs stem ginger syrup
2 tbs water
1. Place the chopped rhubarb in a medium-sized saucepan with the grapefruit juice and zest, caster sugar, water, stem ginger and stem ginger syrup. Bring to the boil, then turn down the heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes until the rhubarb is soft and cooked and forms a smooth sauce.
2. Serve warm or at room temperature with vanilla bean ice-cream or Greek yoghurt. If you don’t have any fresh figs, you could sprinkle some toasted walnuts on top.
Don’t forget to check out the other saucy creations this month.