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Three ways with rhubarb

Love it or hate it, there’s no mistaking the refreshing tart taste and pretty rose blush of rhubarb.

Available all year round but at its sweetest in the colder months, choose bunches with firm stalks and a bright red colour.

To eat rhubarb it must be cooked. Prepare by cutting off and getting rid of the leaves (they are toxic) and the bottom of the stalks. Now you can cook it in the following ways:

1. For breakfast (or dessert!)

Dollop puréed rhubarb onto yoghurt and muesli for an excellent start to any day. To make the purée, cut a bunch of rhubarb stalks into 4cm lengths and place in an ovenproof dish with half a cup of brown sugar and a split vanilla bean. Cover with foil and bake in a 190⁰C oven for about 15 minutes or until soft. Remove the vanilla bean and blend in a food processor. Rhubarb purée also makes a fast dessert. Simply swirl through softened ice cream, drizzle over whipped and sweetened ricotta or channel your nanna and dish it up with a rich egg custard.

2. In a crumble

Whether it’s on its own or combined with other fruits, rhubarb and crumble go together like Matt and cravats. Double down on the hero ingredient by trying Rhubarb Crumble with Rhubarb Sorbet or serve the more classic Apple Rhubarb Crumble with Vanilla Bean Custard.

3. Like a chef

Feeling adventurous? Try George’s Scallop and Smoked Salmon Osso Bucco with Rhubarb Tart and Blood Orange Vinaigrette where he dramatically sits a savoury rhubarb tart on top of scallops wrapped in smoked salmon. Gary, on the other hand, makes the most of rhubarb’s pretty colour by using it to make a delicate syrup in Sheeps Milk Yogurt Mousse with Honey Toasted Muesli and Rhubarb Syrup.