Rhubarb has two distinct times to appear in our kitchen. The forced delicate light pink variety comes at the end of January and the deep pink and green type comes into season from March.
The rhubarb in the shops now is maincrop and is grown outside which gives it a more intense flavour. It’s a pleasure to see this very English product in the kitchen and immediately I think of vanilla, ginger, cream, cheesecakes and custard. Botanically this plant is a vegetable, but we all associate it with puddings.
Look for firm stems with deep red colour with the leaves on which prolong its life. Use quickly as it will soon wilt. Discard the leaves before cooking as they contain poisonous oxalic acid. Sprinkle with sugar and gently roast or stew.
Spring lamb is also in season which means lamb’s liver is at its best. The strength of flavour in the liver is cut by the tartness of roast rhubarb and makes for a cracking starter or light lunch. This dish only works with really fresh ingredients.
Rhubarb and lamb’s liver
Ingredients (Seves 4)
600g lamb’s liver sliced
4 sticks rhubarb
1. Pre-heat oven to 180c /gas 4.
2.Cut the rhubarb into 3cm sticks and place on a stainless steel tray.
3. Sprinkle with sugar and a tablespoon of water.
4. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes until soft but holding shape.
5. Heat a frying pan until hot and cook the liver slices for one minute each side.
6. Arrange the liver and rhubarb on a plate, top with salad leaves and sprinkle with olive oil, balsamic and seasoning.