Chefs are loving rhubarb right now. When buying, look for crisp, upright stalks with a good vibrant colour and trim off any leaves. The best way to cook rhubarb is to bake the stalks whole, which keeps their colour and shape. If you're in a hurry, just chop the stalks and simmer gently in a covered pan with the sugar and orange juice for five minutes. Serve warm or cool.
750g rhubarb stalks
4 tbsp soft brown sugar
4 tbsp orange juice
125g short grain or risotto rice
2 tbsp castor sugar
1 tsp orange blossom water (optional)
2 tbsp pomegranate seeds
1. Heat the oven to 180C. Wash the rhubarb and trim the stalks, discarding leaves. Arrange in a baking tray lined with baking paper, scatter with sugar and pour over the orange juice. Bake for 20 minutes or until soft. Lift the stalks onto a platter and pour the juices over the top.
2. To make the rice pudding, place milk and rice in a heavy-bottomed saucepan and simmer gently, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes or until tender.
3. Add castor sugar and orange blossom water, stirring well, and set aside for five minutes to cool. Spoon into glass dessert bowls. Snip the rhubarb into three-centimetre bits and pile on top, scatter with pomegranate seeds and spoon on the juices so they sink into the rice.