Rhubarb, Raspberries and Purslane

Rhubarb, Raspberries and Purslane

2nd Sept 2016:

I picked the last of the rhubarb last week and made a rhubarb and strawberry crumble which was delicious (the recipe can be found in the ‘latest recipes’ section of my website).

The rhubarb hasn’t produced a lot this year and the stalks have been quite small but it was a new cutting which we acquired in spring so next year should be even better. When we first started our allotment a few years ago I bought a rhubarb plant but the rhubarb was so bitter and sour it just had to go. Our next one came from friends but it too had little flavour and was impossible to sweeten without sugar so it too bit the dust. This year I decided enough was enough so I rang the people who bought our previous house and begged a cutting from them. So at last I have lovely tasting rhubarb which, with a little ingenuity, I can sweeten without using sugar. Who would have thought that rhubarb could vary so much?

We have started picking the Autumn raspberries which are laden with fruit. We may have to share some with the birds but they will keep us going until the first frosts appear or until well into Autumn. I’ve also been scrumping a few blackberries from a disused allotment so we have been having lovely freshly picked berries for breakfast.

Early this year a friend gave us some little purslane plants which I planted in the allotment but haven’t used a lot because I wasn’t sure when to pick them. Purslane is a herb from Asia and has one of the highest levels of Omega-3 oils in the plant world. It is set to become the latest superfood. The leaves are succulent, not particularly herb-like in taste and can be added to salads. I’ve saved some seeds from a few plants which had gone to seed so I will try it again next year. This time I will pick the leaves on a regular basis to see if the plants bush out and produce more. It’s always interesting to try something new.