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I’m terrible at breakfast. No, really I am. Unless I leave the house and go out for breakfast and brunch my food choices early in the morning are frankly embarrassing. The thing is, first thing in the morning is just about the only time I don’t feel like cooking anything. Just about as much as I can manage in the mornings is dumping things in a bowl, or putting something in the oven that won’t require much washing up. When I was living in Los Angeles the amount of times I had oatmeal with honey that only took a few moments in the microwave, or local farmers market strawberries with Greek yogurt on top puts me as a food writer to shame.
I don’t really believe in New Years Resolutions, but one thing I have promised myself is that in the New Year I’m going to try and be a good girl and make better, more imaginative breakfast choices. This means hopefully less homemade chocolate chip cookies when I have forgotten to make sure that there is actual breakfast food in the house, and less cheating by picking up smoothies, duck confit or steak and rocket sandwiches on my way around Borough Market in the mornings.
After spying the first forced rhubarb of the year in Daylesford Organic it became one of my new ingredient obsessions, knocking butternut squash off of its perch (though, kale is still going strong!), which is how I came up with this quick and easy breakfast compote which you can just serve over yogurt in the mornings and you’re good to go. The whole process takes less than twenty minutes, or, about a minute in the mornings if you do what I did and serve it cold, from the fridge where I’d made a vat of it for the week ahead over the weekend. With the view of making it so your breakfast is sorted during the week, this makes 6 portions, so you can enjoy it every morning (and maybe jazz it up each morning with some different nuts and seeds?) guessing that you’ll probably go out for breakfast once over the weekend. The rhubarb is tart and perfect to make you feel virtuous in the mornings, and the cardamom flavour is delicate; it tastes like it is only just there, but if you omit it completely from the recipe you will feel its loss.
Forced Rhubarb and Cardamom Compote is one of my favourite breakfasts served over Greek or natural yogurt, or for dessert served with vanilla ice cream.
4 Stalks Forced Rhubarb
Juice of 1 Orange
2 tbsp Golden Caster Sugar (regular granulated is also fine)
4 Green Cardamom Pods
Wash the rhubarb and cut into 2cm pieces. Add to a medium saucepan along with the sugar and the orange juice. Please don’t use orange juice from a bottle here, use the freshly squeezed from the actual oranges, as otherwise the flavour balance will be all wrong.
With the back of your knife crush the cardamom pods to release the black seeds inside and add the whole thing to the pan. Stir, and set over a high heat until the juice starts to boil.
Reduce the heat to medium and cover. Allow to simmer for 10 to 15 minutes until the rhubarb has broken down.
Taste, and add a little bit more sugar if you think it is a little bit too tart for your liking.
Fish out the green husks of the cardamom pods, but you can leave the black seeds in the compote.
Serve warm over Greek or natural yogurt, or allow to cool to room temperature before refrigerating.
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