Roasted rhubarb and muffins

After a cold spell it’s warming to see the first show of forced rhubarb heralding spring. Intensely pink and wooingly desirable it’s a fabulous ingredient. Here are two simple but rewarding rhubarb recipes to inspire.

Roasted rhubarb with light lemony mascarpone

3 large stems of rhubarb cut into 10 cm sectionsroast_r_whole
2-3 dessertspoons of maple syrup or a good sprinkle of light brown sugar
1 x 250g tub of light mascarpone (full fat if you prefer)
2-3 tablespoons Greek yogurt
Zest of 1 lemon
a little sugar to sweeten
Edible cornflower petals to decorate (optional)

Pre-heat the oven to 190˚C/170˚C fan assisted/ Gas mark 5.
Place the rhubarb in an ovenproof dish and drizzle with syrup. Roast for 15-20 minutes and cool slightly.
Mix together the rest of the ingredients except the flower petals.
Divide the rhubarb between 4 plates and serve with a spoonful of mascarpone cream. Sprinkle with a few cornflower petals to serve.

To enliven this recipe, make a delicious, tart yet almost toffee-like sauce. In small pan heat 1 dessertspoon of pomegranate molasses and 2 dessertspoons of date syrup. Let the mixture just come to the boil then remove from heat and cool. Serve a spoonful with each plate.

Roasted chopped rhubarbRhubarb and ginger muffins
I saw this recipe ages ago on the Village Greens website. This is my variation.

2 free-range eggs
150g golden caster sugar
50ml sunflower oil
125ml natural yogurt
1tsp grated orange zest
½ teaspoon vanilla essence
300g sliced roasted rhubarb
300g plain flour
2tsp baking powder
½tsp bicarbonate of soda
½tsp salt
1tsp dried ginger
a few chunks of crystallized ginger, finely chopped

Pre-heat the oven to 190˚C/170˚C fan assisted/ Gas mark 5. Fill a muffin tin with 9 deep liners or 12 muffin cases.
Combine the eggs, sugar, oil, yogurt, rhubarb, orange zest and vanilla. Mix well. In a separate bowl, stir all the dry ingredients together thoroughly. Then mix the wet and dry ingredients together until just mixed.
Spoon into muffin cases and top each muffin with some ginger and bake for 25 minutes. Remove and cool on a rack.

At their best served while still warm

Roasted rhubarb and muffins