Kat lives in Fife and is passionate about seasonality, local produce and home cooking
Underfoot green shoots are emerging from their winter hiding places, bringing with them the promise of what’s to come with the arrival of spring.
With a little encouragement, often in the form of a bucket or large garden pot, pleasing pale pink stems of rhubarb can be drawn to surface a little earlier than the main crop. Forced rhubarb is at its best between January and April, after which the main crop takes over.
There are many ideas in my head of how to use this early bounty before its season is done. I start with a rhubarb, yoghurt and pistachio cake, in part to celebrate the first anniversary of my farm and food blog. Over a forkful of cake, with an added drizzle of cream, I look back at the entries for the year and feel a sense that more has been achieved than I have remembered.
I also make a compote of rhubarb and orange – my well-thumbed copy of The Flavour Thesaurus by Niki Segnit recommends a pairing of rhubarb and the similar tasting anise seed. I work with what I have to hand and throw in a single star anise, given that its liquorice flavour is much stronger than that of anise seed, I don’t want to overpower the other flavours. It embellishes the pleasing pink jumble both in appearance and taste.
Music to cook to
One of my all time favourite songs is Dignity by Deacon Blue. It’s a song that most absolutely has to be played in the kitchen at top volume, so as not to miss any of the rousing lyrics.