Rhubarb love

April 18, 2011

Chopped rhubarb

Of all the things that the seasons throw at us I think I love rhubarb the best. Bogstandard in this part of the world yet somehow completely exotic, there’s nothing like it. I especially love that it’s not around all the time (even if I do keep a stash in the freezer) and when I see those pink and green stems (a great colour combination always as far I’m concerned) it sets me on a path of all day mulling over what I might do with it – a crumble? well, you gotta, it’s just so superior to any other fruit, as a compote at the bottom of creme brûlée ? – unmissable especially because it’s Paul’s dessert star turn so all I have to do is show up and eat. Cordial and/or cocktails – well it would be rude not too, it’s seasonal after all plus Crackbird’s rhubarb lemonade has me addicted. Cheesecake is my most recent fixation but it’s a work in progress so stay tuned for that one. Perhaps the best place to start is stewed with Greek yoghurt. Some nice biscuits take this to the next level but are not essential. I went in search of gingery tuile style ones the other evening in Fallon and Byrne and came back with Cinnamon Sticks from Wicklow Fine Foods. Lovely. Those ginger thins they sell in Ikea also work brilliantly.

Rhubarb and Yogurt

Rhubarb is really fab with oily fish. The logic is simple, all that sourness cuts right through the oil. I love it with pan-fried with that very Irish should be staple – oatmeal coated mackerel. You can do a simple compote of stewed rhubarb with a little sugar or you can step it up a little with the addition of some cinnamon and star anise (there it is again) and you’ve got something very special and it’s dinner party time. I’ve got gorgeous baby leaves in from the Healy’s farm in Co. Wicklow and that’s all you need alongside.

Mackarel and Rhubarb

Pan-fried mackerel with oatmeal with a spiced rhubarb compote (for 2)

You’ll need:

2 large or 4 small  mackerel fillets

1 cup oatmeal

Salt and pepper

Oil for frying

For the compote

200gr  chopped rhubarb

1 Cinnamon stick

5 star anise

The juice of 1 orange

4 heaped tablespoons brown sugar

Begin by making the compote. Put all the ingredients in a pot over a low heat until the rhubarb collapses and thickens to a nice heavy consistency. This will take about 15 minutes. Allow the compote to cool, fish out the cinnamon stick and anise then set aside.

Rhubarb and spices

To do the fish, season the oatmeal with salt and pepper then coat each fillet. Heat some oil on the pan, add the fillets then fry for 2 minutes on each side until golden. Serve with the compote and some salad immediately.

3 Responses to “Rhubarb love”

  1. Erin Hutton Says:

    This looks amazing!!! I love rhubarb – I think I am going to have to try that mackerel dish, or at least pairing rhubarb with oily fish!

  2. Dani Says:

    Made this dish last night and we all loved it. rhubarb tastes amazing like that. thanks for the recipe

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