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by Daphne Lambert


It's March and my rhubarb is bursting through the soil after its winters rest, it will be ready to harvest by the end of April, meanwhile there is plenty of forced rhubarb available and I love the glorious splash of pink it adds to recipes.

Rhubarb & hemp smoothie
Serves 1 generously or 2
150ml kefir
2 tablespoons shelled hemp seeds
110g poached rhubarb
1” piece of ginger grated

Combine the kefir, hemp, rhubarb and ginger in a blender, blend until smooth.

Pour into a glass & serve.

Rhubarb & almond cake

450g rhubarb, washed & cut into 4cm pieces

¼ teaspoon cinnamon

zest of 1 orange

juice of ½ orange

350g soft butter plus extra for buttering tin

350g rapadura sugar

6 eggs

250g ground almonds

100g rice flour

Butter & line a 25cm round cake tin with parchment paper. Cover the bottom thickly with rhubarb, sprinkle over the cinnamon, orange zest and orange juice.

Place butter, sugar, eggs, ground almonds and rice flour in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat for 2 minutes. Pour the mixture over the rhubarb and bake for 40 mins on 180°C/350°F/Gas 4 or until firm. Cool slightly before turning out.

Rhubarb ferment
500g rhubarb
2 teaspoons Himalayan pink salt
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
handful sweet cicely leaves

Slice the rhubarb and mix with the salt and spices in a bowl. Gently massage the rhubarb to extract the juice, cover with a cloth and leave for a couple of hours. Mix in the sweet cicely and press tightly into a kilner jar. Keep pressing until the brine is above the rhubarb, weight it down, stand on a plate and allow to ferment out of direct sunlight, for five days. Lovely with buckwheat pancakes

In the pink spring cocktail
Serves 1
30 ml rhubarb juice
a few leaves of lovage
60ml vodka
juice of 1 orange
crushed ice
3 long matchsticks of rhubarb & lovage for flourish

In a bowl muddle the rhubarb juice and lovage together and leave to infuse for 15 minutes. Strain into a jug and add the vodka and orange juice. Add crushed ice to a glass, pour over the cocktail and top with a slice of orange & a lovage flourish

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