Healthy Eating

We're championing fresh food that packs a flavour punch, from salads and vegetable-packed bowls to grains and light desserts.

Subscribe to Gourmet

Subscribe to Australian Gourmet Traveller and receive a copy of Nordic Light - offer ends 23 April 2017.

Gourmet digital

Subscribe to Gourmet Traveller for your iPad or Android tablet.

The Royal Mail Hotel is changing
28.03.2017

Executive chef Robin Wickens has a stronger influence at the Royal Mail Hotel's upcoming restaurant, slated to open later this year.

Adventuring along America's north-west rivers
28.03.2017

The rivers of America's north-west running through Washington state and Oregon form the arteries of epic landscapes and bold discovery routes. Emma Sloley follows in the wake of Lewis and Clark.

The World's Best sommeliers are coming to Australia
28.03.2017

For the first time, the world's top international sommeliers will take part in the World's 50 Best Awards too.

Seven Italian dishes that shaped fine dining in the 2000s
28.03.2017

Italian food in the restaurants of Australia blossomed into maturity in the new millennium, as the work of these trailblazers shows – dazzling and diverse, a successful balance between adaptation and tradition.

Steam ovens: a guide
27.03.2017

Billed as the faster, cleaner way to cook, are these on-trend ovens all they’re cracked up to be? We take a close look at their rising popularity, USP versus the traditional convection cooker and how each type rates in terms of form, function, and above all, flavour in this buyer’s guide.

Our chocolate issue is out now
27.03.2017

Our April issue is out now. In his editor's letter, Pat Nourse walks you through what to expect.

Roast pork with Nelly Robinson
27.03.2017

Nelly Robinson of Sydney's nel. restaurant talks us through his favourite roasting joints, tips for crisp roast potatoes and why, when it comes to pork, slow and steady always wins the race.

Water carafes
24.03.2017

More than mere vessels, these pieces bring a cool breeze of style from the fridge to the table.

Flour and Stone Recipes

Baker extraordinaire Nadine Ingram of Sydney's Flour and Stone cooks up a sweet storm for Easter, including the much loved bakery's greatest hit.

Fast autumn dinners

Autumn weather signals the arrival of soups, broths, roasts and more hearty meals.

Roasted cauliflower salad with yoghurt dressing and almonds

The cauliflower is roasted until it starts to caramelise, which adds extra depth of flavour to this winning salad. Serve it warm or at room temperature.

All Star Yum Cha

What happens the morning after the World’s 50 Best Restaurants awards? We treat the chefs to a world-beating yum cha session, as Dani Valent discovers.

New cruises 2017

Cue the Champagne.

1980s recipes

Australia saw some bold moves in the ’80s, and we’re not just talking hairstyles. Greater cultural references started peppering the menus of our restaurants, and home-grown ingredients won a new appreciation. The dining scene was coming of age and a new band of pioneers led the charge.

Savoury tarts

Will your next baking project be a flaky puff pastry with pumpkin, goat's curd and thyme, or a classic bacon and Stilton tart? As autumn settles in, we're ticking these off one by one.

Melbournes finest meet Worlds Best

Leading chefs descend on Melbourne in April for The World’s 50 Best Restaurants. We asked local hospitality folk who they’d abduct for the day and where they’d take them to show off their city. There may be coffee, there may be culture, but in the end it’s cocktails.

July: Rhubarb


You'll need

  Cakes 6 eggwhites 185 gm unsalted butter, melted and cooled 240 gm icing sugar 150 gm pistachio kernels, finely ground 100 gm (2/3 cup) plain flour 1 orange, finely grated rind only To serve: crème fraîche   Roasted rhubarb with orange blossom 300 gm rhubarb (about 3 stalks), trimmed and cut into 5cm lengths 55 gm (¼ cup) golden caster sugar 1 orange, rind finely grated and juiced 1 tbsp orange blossom water

Method

  • 01
  • Preheat oven to 180C. For roasted rhubarb, combine ingredients in a baking dish, cover with foil and roast in oven for 10 minutes or until tender. Cool and reserve cooking juices.
  • 02
  • Whisk eggwhites in a bowl until frothy, add melted butter and whisk to combine, add remaining dry ingredients and rind and stir to combine. Spoon mixture into 6 deep, lightly-greased, 10cm-diameter loose-bottomed flan tins. Arrange 3 pieces of rhubarb on top of each. Bake for 25 minutes or until a skewer inserted withdraws clean. Stand in pans for 5 minutes. Serve warm, drizzled with reserved juices and crème fraîche.

Rhubarb is the vegetable world's great comeback kid. Not only did it once suffer the indignity of being classified a fruit, but the ancient Greeks considered it the food of barbarians (from the Latin rhabarbarum), while during the Middle Ages, its roots and leaves were used as poison. To add insult to injury, rhubarb is also a colloquial term for nonsense, confused noise or empty conservation.

Despite its shady past, the rhubarb has also been revered for some of its other qualities. From as early as 2700BC, relatives of the garden rhubarb were highly regarded for their medicinal uses by the Romans, Chinese and Russians. The roots were dried and ground into powder and were prized for their purgative properties in the treatment of dysentery and intestinal complaints.

During the 16th and 17th centuries it became a valuable commodity; it was exported long distances from China and commanded huge prices in Europe. In France, it was sold at 10 times the price of cinnamon and in England it fetched more than double the rate of opium.

With the advent of cheap sugar prices in late 18th-century Europe and North America, tart rhubarb stems became part of the dessert repertoire, and the classic Victorian puddings such as rhubarb and custard and rhubarb crumble were born. In Britain during WWII rationing, families were given a stick of rhubarb and a bag of sugar to cater for any sweet cravings. These days, rhubarb is being revived by chefs and restaurants where crumbles and compotes are back in favour. It's also championed as a superfood by dieticians and nutritionists, as it's low GI and rich in potassium, calcium and vitamin C. Rhubarb's most popular preparation is in sweet things such as jams, jellies, sauces and fillings for pies. It is also used in some savoury dishes; Polish cooks prepare it with potatoes and spices; in Iran it's braised in a stew known as khorest and in Afghanistan it is added to spinach. In Italy, it is distilled to make a low-alcohol aperitivo called rabarbaro.

A favourite in old-fashioned gardens, the perennial rhubarb is a close relative of docks and sorrels whose leaves can be eaten. The leaves of the rhubarb plant should never be consumed, however, as they contain enough oxalic acid to cause death.

Varieties
Rhubarb isn't usually sold by variety in Australia, although in South Australia the Cherry Red cultivar is highly regarded, and in Victoria the Ever Red is favoured. Rhubarb is grown outdoors, preferring cooler climates. It is available most of the year and is at the height of its season during winter, when it tends to grow more slowly producing thinner and redder stems. During the warmer months the stems grow much thicker and greener.

How to buy, store…
Choose firm, unblemished bright red stems; trim the flat brown end of the stems as well as the leaves, wrap in plastic and store in the crisper for up to a week.

And cook
Wash rhubarb and cut into lengths. Rhubarb has a high water content and breaks down easily when subjected to heat. Cook with the addition of little or no liquid. For pie fillings, cook rhubarb gently in a saucepan over low heat with sugar, spice and a little juice, alcohol or water. To keep its shape, it is best gently roasted or poached in the oven.

* For rhubarb and pear crumble, preheat oven to 200C. Peel, core and cut beurre bosc pears into eighths and combine in a saucepan with brown sugar, seeds of 1 vanilla bean and a little verjuice. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally for 10 minutes or until pear starts to soften. Cut rhubarb into 4cm lengths and add to pear, cook for another 5 minutes or until rhubarb softens. Spoon into a baking dish. In a bowl, combine equal quantities of coarsely chopped hazelnuts, coarse fresh brown bread crumbs, brown sugar and butter and rub ingredients together using fingers until mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Scatter over rhubarb and bake for 20 minutes or until golden. Serve with warm custard.

* For rhubarb and ginger strudel, preheat oven to 200C. Cut two bunches of rhubarb into 2cm lengths, coarsely chop 6 peeled and cored apples and place in a saucepan with coarsely chopped glacé ginger and syrup, slivered almonds, currants and caster sugar. Cook, stirring, until rhubarb is very soft and liquid has evaporated. Using 6 sheets of filo pastry, place one piece of filo with shortest side closest to you on a work surface, brush with melted butter, top with a second sheet, brush with butter, and repeat with remaining sheets and butter. Spread rhubarb mixture at end closest to you leaving a 4cm border, fold over long sides encasing filling and roll up tightly, brushing with a butter to seal. Transfer to a lightly-greased oven tray, scatter with caster sugar and bake for 20 minutes until golden. Serve with vanilla ice-cream.

* For rhubarb mess, preheat oven to 180C. Cut rhubarb into 3cm lengths and arrange on an oven tray, scatter liberally with demerara sugar and a little rosewater and cook for 5 minutes until tender. Cool. Whisk pouring cream to stiff peaks, add rhubarb and crushed meringues and fold gently to combine. Spoon into glasses, scatter with demerara and serve immediately.

Rhubarb goes with
Almonds, apples, blueberries, cinnamon, citrus, custard, ginger, hazelnuts, honey, pastry, plums, pork, raspberries, rosewater, soft white cheeses, strawberries, trout, vanilla, yoghurt.


At A Glance

  • Serves 6 people
GT
Signature Collection

Find out more about the Gourmet Traveller Signature Collection by Robert Gordon Australia, including where to buy it in store and online.

Read More
Recipe collections

Looking for ways to make the most out of seasonal produce? Want to find a recipe perfect for a party? Or just after fresh ideas for dessert? Either way, our recipe collections have you covered.

See more
2017 Restaurant Guide

Our 2017 Restaurant Guide is online, covering over 400 restaurants Australia wide. Never wonder where to dine again.

See more

At A Glance

  • Serves 6 people

Additional Notes

ALSO IN SEASON

Fruit and nuts

Apples, cumquats, custard apples, red grapefruit, lemons, limes, mandarins, melons, nashi, oranges, papaya, pineapples, pomelos, tangelos.

Vegetables

Asian greens, avocados, beetroot, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbages, cauliflower, celeriac, celery, fennel, garlic, ginger, horseradish, Jerusalem artichokes, kale, kohlrabi, leeks, okra, olives, parsnips, potatoes, silverbeet, spinach, swedes, sweet potatoes, turnips, witlof.

Seafood

Yellowfin bream, dusky flathead, deepwater flathead, southern garfish, grey mackerel, warehou, orange roughy, snapper, tailor, King George whiting, sand whiting, king prawns.

 

You might also like...

Chef's spaghetti Bolognese recipes: L to Z

recipes

Christmas pudding ice-cream

Chef's spaghetti Bolognese recipes: B to K

recipes

Raspberry and Mint Mojito

Mother's Day recipes

recipes

Neil Perry: Prawn cocktail

Easter recipes

recipes

Serge Dansereau: Blueberry vanilla tart

Classic Italian recipes

recipes

Barbecue trout bundles with prosciutto and button mushrooms

Easter lunch recipes

recipes

Serge Dansereau: Homemade lemonade

Cupcake recipes

recipes

Serge Danserau: Duck confit and potato terrine

Thomas Keller's sandwich recipes

recipes

conversion tool

 
get the latest news

Sign up to receive the latest food, travel and dining news direct from Gourmet Traveller headquarters.

×