A friend asked me last week ‘Can you steam rhubarb?’ and I realised that there’s very little written about how to steam rhubarb. Strange, I thought, when it’s one of the best ways to cook rhubarb without drowning it in sugar, or killing the delicate flavours off.
Then last night we went to my youngest son’s school summer fete and bought a gigantic bunch of organic rhubarb grown in the school garden.
I steamed some of it early this morning and had it for breakfast on homemade Irish wheaten bread,
a most delicious combination.
Steamed rhubarb is also delicious with warm or cold custard, Greek yogurt, or as a topping for pavlova or meringues.
So here’s how to steam rhubarb for a most excellent flavour. It does take up a total time of about one hour, but doesn’t need much watching and is well worth doing.
Add a good sized thin slice of lemon peel at the start of steaming.
Do not add any water at all, rhubarb is juicy enough when gently steamed.
If your rhubarb is a little drab you could use an old trick of my Aunt’s and add a drop or two of red or hot pink colouring.
Steaming time can be shortened a little if you like chunks of rhubarb still visible.
You can eat raw rhubarb stalks ( but always discard rhubarb leaves which are poisonous). Before I chop rhubarb stalks I like to pare a little of the colourful skin off with a vegetable peeler to keep as a garnish.