Georgia Doherty, founder of The Hill Food Co, is one of our all time favourite chefs. Georgia trained at Leith's School of Food and Wine but her love of food derives from years of picking, digging and collecting home grown ingredients and turning them into lunch. We work with Georgia seasonally to develop lots of the recipes you find on our menu and we are delighted to share below her latest seasonal blog.
"In the otherwise fairly grey and gloomy months of January and February, before daffodils, rhubarb is the first sign of spring. Rhubarb is grown in two crops. Forced, grown in the earlier months of the year, is tenderer and more understated in its tartness than its more burly and punchy sibling, main-crop rhubarb, which is grown from mid March to June.
While main-crop is grown outdoors, forced rhubarb requires a little bit more attention and care as it is grown commercially in dimly lit sheds and picked in candlelight, so as not to wash out its lively, green leaves to a duller shade. Ninety percent of the world’s forced rhubarb is grown in what is known as, “The Rhubarb Triangle.” This is the stretch of land in West Yorkshire between Morley, Wakefield and Rothwell. All our rhubarb is sourced from this area as we know this is where we will find the most tender and rosy crop.
Cardamom shortbread tart with crème fraîche and rose poached rhubarb
Super versatile, it can be stewed, poached or roasted, lightly sweetened for sweet dishes or left as a bittersweet accompaniment to savoury dishes like mackerel and pork. When cooked perfectly, the skin of the rhubarb turns a brighter, almost fluorescent, shade of pink, which bleeds into the white interior to form a beautifully pale pastel. It becomes the star of any dish: the crown on top of a humble and hearty bowl of porridge or a beautiful blushing surprise under an oaty crumble.
Main-crop rhubarb, almond and elderflower tart
The window in which you can find forced rhubarb is limited but this makes it all the more special. This delicious jam recipe by The Hill Food Co is a great way to preserve the beautiful rhubarb beyond it’s short season.
RECIPE: Rhubarb Jam