I’ve arrived again from the outlets with a tangle of stalks in my bag. Thick ribs of rhubarb the color of seaside rock; crisp inexperienced puntarelle for a salad and a bunch of rainbow chard the color of wine gums. The puntarelle will probably be trimmed and the lengthy, pale stems tossed with mashed anchovies and olive oil, however the others want a bit extra thought.

The chard was purchased on a whim – I’m a pushover for his or her lengthy ruby and apricot stems. I consider chard as two greens in a single, the leaves which are like robust spinach and the white and multicoloured stalks which are scrumptious sufficient if you happen to toss them in melted butter and lemon juice after steaming. This time, I dressed the stalks with the form of components I’d use to sauce fried prawns or make right into a marinade for roasted hen thighs: piercingly scorching little chillies, lime juice, fish sauce and honey. We licked our plates clear.

Roasted within the oven with orange and juniper, the rhubarb was greater than ok, however the juices are dazzling, terribly vibrant and refreshing. The juniper provides the faintest gin and tonic word, which is intensified if you happen to smash the berries with a pestle first. They cheered up a bowl of porridge, I can let you know.

The deeply veined leaves I’ve trimmed from the chard stems are squeaking with freshness. They are going to be shredded and used instead of spinach in a thick bean and vegetable soup tomorrow.

Roast rhubarb with porridge and oat crumble

The oat crumble, a form of candy, oaty rubble, brings some crunch to the celebration. It is going to maintain for a number of days in a storage jar in a cool place and is nice crumbled over vanilla ice-cream. The rhubarb could be saved refrigerated for a day or two and introduced out for breakfast. Serves 4

rhubarb stalks 800g
oranges 2, medium
caster sugar 2 heaped tbsp
juniper berries 6

For the oat crumble:
plain flour 75g
butter 75g
sea salt an excellent pinch
caster sugar 50g
rolled oats 55g

For the porridge:
water 400ml
pinhead oatmeal 100g
salt to style

Trim any dry ends from the rhubarb and discard, then minimize every stalk into items roughly 5cm lengthy. Pack the rhubarb right into a non-reactive baking dish (heatproof glass or china, or stainless-steel).
Preheat the oven to 200C/gasoline mark 6.

Minimize the oranges in half and squeeze their juice right into a bowl. Stir within the sugar – it doesn’t must dissolve, that can occur within the oven – then press the juniper berries with a heavy weight to crack them open, and add to the orange juice. Pour the juice and berries over the rhubarb and bake for about half-hour till gentle (check with a skewer, it ought to slide by each bit effortlessly).

Make the crumble: put the flour and butter in a meals processor and course of to coarse crumbs, then stir within the salt, sugar and oats. Drop in 1 tbsp of water and shake the bowl backward and forwards till the combination kinds crumbs. Tip on to a baking sheet and slide into the oven, it may well go in similtaneously the rhubarb. Bake till pale gold (about 20 minutes), then take away and put aside.

Take away the rhubarb from the oven when you make the porridge.

Carry the water to the boil, rain within the oatmeal and stir for 3 or 4 minutes whereas it thickens. Stir in a pinch of salt and divide between 4 small bowls. Put among the rhubarb in every bowl, then spoon over the rhubarb juice. Scatter among the crumble over every dish of fruit and porridge. Serve scorching.

Candy, scorching chard

Nigel Slater’s recipes for rhubarb with porridge, and candy, scorching chard | Vegetarian foods and drinks
Candy stalking: candy, scorching chard. {Photograph}: Jonathan Lovekin/The Observer

I’ve had this as a facet dish for chargrilled mackerel and with tempura-style fried broccoli, however it is usually good on high of steamed rice. The cooking time will fluctuate barely in accordance with the thickness of your stems, so examine them each jiffy, solely including the dressing when they’re starting to melt. To thicken the dressing a little bit, flip the warmth up and let it bubble till it has decreased and develop into sticky. Serves 2, as a facet dish

For the dressing:
garlic 2 cloves
lemongrass 1 stalk
scorching purple chillies 2 small
ginger a 40g piece
vegetable oil 2 tbsp
mild soy sauce 1 tbsp
lime juice 1 tbsp
fish sauce 1 tbsp
runny honey 3 tbsp
chard stalks 400g
groundnut oil 3 tbsp

Peel and crush the garlic to a paste with a pinch of salt, then scrape into an empty screw-top jar. Peel away the outer leaves of the lemongrass, then roughly chop the tender shoot inside. Put the chopped lemongrass into an electrical spice mill or espresso grinder and course of to a dry paste, then add it to the garlic.

Roughly chop the chillies and add to the garlic and lemongrass. Peel the ginger, then grate to a paste and add to the jar. Add the vegetable oil, soy sauce, lime juice and fish sauce, then spoon within the honey, tighten the lid and shake to mix to a skinny, syrupy dressing.

Minimize the chard stalks into brief items, roughly 10cm in size. Heat the groundnut oil in a big, shallow pan over a average warmth, then add the chard stalks and canopy with a lid. Let the chard prepare dinner for 10 minutes, turning the stalks over sometimes, till they’re tender.

Pour the dressing into the pan and toss the chard stalks in it. Let the dressing bubble for 4-5 minutes till it coats the stalks, then switch to a serving dish.

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