Yorkshire’s favourite stalks don’t fool anyone for long

Rhubarb and Mackerel
Rhubarb and Mackerel
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Pan-fried mackerel with roasted rhubarb

Serves 4

4-5 stalks rhubarb, 1 tbsp light brown sugar, 2 fresh mackerel fillets, 4 tbsp plain flour, seasoned with salt and freshly ground black pepper, extra virgin olive oil, 2 sprigs fresh rosemary, 1 tbsp capers, drained

Preheat the oven to 200°C/Gas 6. Cut the rhubarb into 15cm lengths, place in a roasting tin with a few tbsp cold water and the sugar. Cover with foil and roast in the preheated oven until soft but still holding its shape. Cool, drain and reserve the juices.

Dip each mackerel fillet, skin side down, into the seasoned flour. While holding the fillet, tap gently to remove any excess flour. Heat the oil in a large frying pan.

Place the fillets, skin side down, into the hot pan, scatter over the rosemary. Cook on each side for two mins, remove from the pan and keep warm.

Add the rhubarb and the capers and warm through then remove and keep warm with the fish. Add a splash of the reserved rhubarb juices to the pan, stir vigorously to remove any bits from the bottom of the pan, cook for one minute. Serve immediately with the mackerel, the rhubarb and capers on the side.

Rhubarb and sorrel crisp

12 portions

For the filling: 4 large stalks of rhubarb, finely chopped, 2 cups finely chopped sorrel, 1 tbsp orange zest, 1 tsp vanilla extract, 60ml water, 3 tbsp cornflour, Crust and Topping: 200g plain flour, 200g cups rolled oats, 150g cup soft brown sugar, ½ tsp salt, ½ tsp cinnamon, 75g chopped nuts (optional) 170g cold butter

Preheat the oven to 175 °C/Gas 4. Lightly grease a 33x 23cm/13x9in ovenproof dish. In a large saucepan, mix together rhubarb, sorrel, zest and vanilla.

Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, reduce and cook, stirring frequently, for 4 minutes. In a small bowl, dissolve corn flour in ¼ cup water. Stir into rhubarb mixture and cook until thickened, stirring constantly. Set aside to cool slightly.

In a medium bowl, mix together flour, oats, brown sugar, salt, cinnamon and nuts (if using).

Cut in butter until finely crumbled.

Put three cups of mixture into the bottom of the prepared baking pan, pressing to make an even layer.

Pour slightly cooled rhubarb over crust, spreading evenly. Sprinkle with remaining crumb mixture.

Place pan on a baking sheet to catch any drips and bake 30-40 minutes or until golden and bubbly. Cut into squares while still warm, but not hot. Serve with vanilla ice cream or custard.

Rhubarb fool

Serves 4

400g forced rhubarb, cut into 1cm pieces, 75g clear honey, 150g mascarpone, 250ml whipping cream

Place the rhubarb in a saucepan with the honey. Cook gently for 20 minutes until a soft pulp.

Leave to cool.

Reserve 4 dessertspoons of the pulp. Beat the mascarpone in a bowl until smooth and loose, then stir in the rhubarb.

Do not overstir, the cream should have a marbled effect.

Whip the cream to soft peaks, then fold into the rhubarb mix.

Serve in glasses with the rhubarb pulp on top. Goes really well with a ginger biscuit or a small piece of parkin.

To order your copy of The Great Book of Rhubarb by Elaine Lemm (£7.99 plus £2.85 p&p) from the Yorkshire Post Bookshop – telephone 01748 821122 Mon-Sat 9am-5pm, or send a cheque made payable to Yorkshire Books Ltd to Yorkshire Books Ltd, 1 Castle Hill, Richmond DL10 4QP or online – www.yorkshirepost.co.uk/shop.

Alternatively call in at the Yorkshire Post reception, Wellington Stree, Leeds reception Mon -Fri 9pm -5pm and save postage.