Sweet sweet Friday: Just Rhubarb

I’ve been perusing a lot of menus lately – I want to emphasise that this has been at my desk rather than at a damask-covered table – and chuckling to myself at the ridiculous labels some restaurants come up with for their dishes. There seem to be two major trends. One is to over-egg the pudding as much as possible, with lots of flowery language (and mention of froths and foams on the plate), while the other is to be as stark as possible. There’s almost as much artifice in the latter as the former, but it’s certainly more appetising.

Anyway, here are the two options for today’s pud, a deconstructed rhubarb fool:
‘Pretty in pink’: Evergreen Horowhenua rhubarb, oven-poached in the hand-squeezed juice of a Gisborne navel orange, served with a quenelle of Fonterra’s finest Greek-inspired yoghurt and a Meyer lemon-scented butter biscuit of Scottish heritage.
Or: Rhubarb, Greek yoghurt, lemon shortbread.
Rest assured it tastes pretty good either way…

Oven-poached Rhubarb
You could cook this on the stove if you wanted to, but sticking it in the oven is much less fuss.

500g rhubarb, trimmed and cut into 5cm lengths
1/4 cup caster sugar
1 large orange

Preheat the oven to 170C. Put the rhubarb into a large, ovenproof dish and sprinkle over the sugar. Pare the rind from the orange using a potato peeler. Tuck this into the rhubarb, then cut the orange in half and squeeze over the juice. Then cut the orange into chunks and add to the dish. Cover tightly with foil and bake in the oven for about 30-40 minutes, until the rhubarb is tender. Let cool, discard the orange pieces and peel, then cover and put in the fridge until ready to use.
For a ‘deconstructed’ fool, put the rhubarb and a bowl of whipped cream or Greek yoghurt on the table and invite your guests to help themselves.
(If you don’t think your fellow diners are up to a bit of DIY, fold the rhubarb through about 500g Greek yoghurt until marbled. Dollop into glass bowls and take to the table with your most special silver spoons. Either way, thin, crisp shortbread is a great accompaniment.



  1. July 21, 2011 / 9:07 pm

    I love when I see that people use rhubarb.Thsi often forgotten fruit has such a delicate taste.I often mix it with apple when baking:)

  2. July 21, 2011 / 9:55 pm

    Love your first description of the dish. But then I love pompous menu descriptions almost as much as menu misprints ('reviled whitebait' has always been one of my favourites). Love the rhubarb too. I've taken to combining rhubarb with either elderflower or strawberries lately. (Speaking of which, I did see a description of a drink as being 'kissed with the lightest touch of elderflower').

  3. July 22, 2011 / 2:29 am

    ha ha, so true about the restaurant names given to these sorts of dishes.
    I love rhubarb and this looks so good!

  4. July 22, 2011 / 9:00 am

    Give me the pared-back menu version anyday – underpromise and overdeliver i say…

  5. July 22, 2011 / 5:30 pm

    What if I like the first name but the second blurb?? Looks mighty stunning to me whatever way you want to roll the dice ;0)

  6. July 23, 2011 / 1:57 am

    Haha, both your menu names (or maybe the contrast of the two side-by-side) made me giggle out loud. I know what you mean!

    It's been a while since I cooked with rhubarb, but I just bought a whole bunch… rather excited 🙂

  7. July 23, 2011 / 11:25 pm

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    Happy blogging!

  8. July 24, 2011 / 3:27 am

    Heh I know exactly what you mean about puddings. Either way, they're likely to be expensive. Love the sound of this, especially that it's poached in the oven and I don't have to worry so much about burning the rhubarb.

    I like the idea of DIY, but then the marbled yoghurt fool sounds pretty too…

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