I have always loved stewed and roasted rhubarb however I had not made it very often because the stalks are so tart conventional recipes call for a truckload of sugar to make it more palatable. I have always thought this was a shame because it is such a nutritious and not mention yummy veggie. Yesterday my mother in law called in with a huge bag full of stalks from her veggie garden so I decided it was time to give roasted rhubarb The Kitchen Apothecary makeover!
Rhubarb is a perennial plant very similar to celery. It is high in B complex vitamins, vitamins A, K and fibre. The stalks are also very high in minerals however the high oxalic acid content is believed to limit their absorption. Indeed the leaves are so high in oxalic acid and poisonous glycosides they are toxic. That is why you very rarely see rhubarb at your market with the leaves attached.
Roasting rhubarb is my favourite way of preparing this vegetable as it preserves the integrity of the stalks rather than letting them go to mush, giving them a lovely texture when served with something silky like cashew cream. Roasting also intensifies the flavour adding a deep rich sweetness, perfect when you do not want to add much sweetener. In this recipe I decided to ditch cane sugar and choose coconut sugar that has a significantly lower glycaemic index and adds a slight caramel flavour to the dish. You can read more about natural sweeteners here.
- Roasted Rhubarb
- 500g Rhubarb Stalks, trimmed and cut into approximately 6cm batons
- 50g Coconut Sugar
- 1/4 cup Orange Blossom Water
- 3 Tablespoons Water
- Orange Blossom Cashew Cream
- 3 Tablespoons Maple Syrup
- 3 Tablespoons Orange Blossom Water
- 2 Tablespoons Lemon Juice
- 1/2 Teaspoon Vanilla Powder/Vanilla paste or Seeds from 1 Vanilla Pod
- 1 Cup Cashews (soaked for 6 hours or overnight in plain water and then drained)
- Mint Leaves for Garnish
- 1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (fan forced) or 200ºC conventional.
- 2. Wash rhubarb and then pat dry. Cut into bite size batons (about 5 - 6cm) discarding any dry, hard pieces.
- 3. Arrange the rhubarb in a single layer in a baking tray. Mix the coconut sugar with the orange blossom water and plain water. Pour the sugar and water evenly over the rhubarb.
- 4. Cover the baking tray with a lid or foil. Roast for 20 - 30 minutes (depending on thickness of rhubarb). The rhubarb is ready when it is soft, yet still retains good shape and vibrant colour.
- 5. For the cashew cream add all the ingredients to a blender or food processor and blitz until creamy and there is no graininess. You might need to add a little more liquid to achieve this.
- 6. Serve the rhubarb in small bowls with cashew cream and garnished with mint leaves.
Enjoy your Roast Rhubarb with Orange Blossom Cashew Cream!