Rhubarb this week from Horsley Park which is 40 minutes from the city.
Rhubarb was around in China in 2700 BC and used as a medicine. The root can be consumed treating constipation, diarrhea, liver and gall bladder complaints, hemorrhoids, and pimples. It’s really important to note that only the rhubarb stalks should be eaten and they must be cooked. Rhubarb leaves are poisonous and should never be eaten or fed to livestock or poultry. So no putting in for animal feed please . But you can use the leave to make an insecticide see below for recipe.
It’s rich in iron, and vitamins A and C.
Did you know you can use rhubarb as an insect spray? Just cut rhubarb leaves, around a kg and boil in water for 30 minutes. Get an old stocking and pop over a bowl and pure the liquid through it. Let it cool then add around 30gms of soap flakes and a litre of hot water. Pop into a sprayer, label it, and it will help control caterpillars and aphids.
Rhubarb grows really well in spring and Sam Grima grows it on their property at Horsley Park. Rhubarb gets floppy in the sun so when the humid weather begins that’s the end of the growing season. It’s grown by placing a crown in the soil which sends its roots down and shoots upward. in summer after the growing season the crown is divided and the replanting will begin again in February. Harvesting begins in May.
Rhubarb continues to breathe after picking and is regarded as a medium breather so it needs only a small amount of air. Pop in a container and pop open one corner of the lid and put in the fridge.
COOK, CAN OR FREEZE
- 3 or 4 stalks rhubarb, strings removed, chopped
- 1 cup orange lentils, well washed
- 2 tbs minced ginger
- 1 tbs minced garlic
- 4 cardamom pods
- 1 tbs mustard seeds
- 2 cloves
- 1 tsp cracked black pepper
- 1 dried mild chili, optional
- Chopped cilantro leaves for garnish
- Combine all ingredients except salt and cilantro in a saucepan and add water to cover by about 4cm. Cook at a steady simmer until lentils and rhubarb are quite soft, 20 to 30 minutes. Remove cloves and, if you like, cardamom pods. Add salt, then taste and adjust seasoning. Garnish with cilantro and serve.
- 100g melted butter
- 60g superfine or caster sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 60g almond meal (or plain flour)
- 30g almonds, chopped OR use pecans
- 1 tsp baking powder (check that it is gluten free if you are making a GF cake)
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- ¼ tsp ground ginger
- 6 stalks of rhubarb, washed and chopped into small pieces
- OR 4 stalks of Rhubarb and 1 cup of strawberries, chopped.
- 60g raw or demerara sugar
- 15g almonds, chopped
- Use an18cm springform tin or pie dish.
- Preheat the oven to 200C.
- Line a springform tin with a circle of paper that goes up the side of the tin (or grease a pie dish with some butter). In a bowl or a jug, whisk the melted butter, sugar, vanilla and egg until combined.
- In another bowl, mix the almond meal or flour, chopped almonds and baking powder until mixed through and then add the buttery mixture to the dry mixture. Place mixture in the prepared tin or pie dish.
- In a bowl mix the topping then sprinkle on pie. Bake for 30 minutes and serve with vanilla ice cream.
First trim off leaves and wash stalks. Then cut into 3cm pieces and place In a large saucepan adding 1/2 cup sugar for every litre of fruit. Heat gently to boiling for 15 minutes. Cool then fill jars leaving 1 cm at top. Put on lids when cool.
Choose firm, tender, well-colored stalks then wash, trim and cut into lengths to fit the a container with a lid. Blanch in boiling water for 1 minute and then cool it in cold water. Let dry and pop container on and into fridge.