Breakfast on the beach anyone?
We’re now through the hideous, hot, humid weather here in Dubai and we’ve moved into that (relatively) small window (and it is ALL relative) where it’s perfect for breakfast on the beach. And we had guests with us from the UK too, so there’s nothing better …
On the menu was Nutella & Banana Muffins, a few extra croissants for the big eaters and a ‘beach-ready-in-a-tupperware-box’ fruit salad. We called in at our favourite café en route for a round of Date Smoothies and some sneaky extra coffees for the grown ups. A veritable feast. But it didn’t last long. Of course.
So in between muffin mouthfuls and smoothie slurps the big question was … “What’s your favourite fruit?” We only tackle the heavy, newsworthy issues here. And so we were off.
Hella – Watermelon. No hesitation
Teenage houseguest – Raspberries (£1.99 per punnet, you know.) Remember he works in a greengrocer back home in the UK
A minor diversion now, while we explore how funny it is that you only really use the word punnet for red(ish) soft fruits. Until #1 teenage son puts us right – “a Punnet Square is a diagram used by biologists to determine the probability of an offspring having a particular genotype – I’ll have you know.” Certainly more highbrow than softish red fruits. On closer inspection, though, we realise that this use of punnet is spelt with a double ‘t’. Shame.
Anyway, back to the main event …
Me – Pomelo (they don’t sell them in our UK greengrocers – but maybe they should). It’s mostly my favourite because we were just eating a lovely one. But probably only my fave for that day – I’m fickle when it comes to favourites.
#1 teenage son – he needs more time to think. No change there. Don’t EVER ask him what he would do if he won £1 million – unless you’ve got plenty of time on your hands. We’ll come back to him later.
Grown up houseguest – Raspberries (like mother, like son).
‘Almost a teenager’ houseguest – Nectarines (£1 for 4).
#2 teenage son – Blackberries (£1.99 per punnet). It’s that word again.
And back to #1 teenage son – he settled on a mango (59p each). But there was uncertainty in his eyes.
And finally my lovely husband – Rhubarb (there was head scratching from our greengrocer on this one. Not many people buy it apparently.) And to be honest, we don’t see it that often here. But then, on my next trip to the supermarket, there it was in all its glorious hues. It may not be my favourite fruit but that colour is right up there for me.
So, my lovely husband, this one’s for you – Baked Rhubarb with Orange. Perfect on a bowl of Greek yoghurt, a portion of porridge or just as it comes.
And here are my tips for baking rhubarb –
- Play around with the amount of sugar. This is a sour fruit so you will need a reasonable amount but adjust it to your taste. I used 75g of sugar to 500g rhubarb, but we’re not fans of it being overly sweet.
- Leave out the orange if it’s not your thing – but it is rather good.
- Spread the rhubarb on a baking tray. Sprinkle with sugar, orange zest and a couple of vanilla pods and then be sure to encase the whole thing in foil before it hits the oven. That way it won’t dry out.
- Don’t bake it for too long or it will turn to mush. If a sharp knife will pierce the rhubarb easily, then it’s done.
- Once cooked and cooled, the baked rhubarb will keep in the fridge for 3-4 days. Albeit hard to resist.
I have to admit that the pre-cooked rhubarb, sprinkled with sugar and speckled with orange did make me feel rather festive. And I’ll take this opportunity just to whisper to you that it’s only 6 and a bit weeks until Christmas. But that’s a whole 46 days – which really is ages isn’t it?
So, moving swiftly on – what’s your favourite fruit? Do let us know by commenting below AND if you play your cards right we might even share how much you’d pay for it in our favourite UK greengrocers. Now there’s an incentive.
And as always – if you like what you read or you know someone who might like it, do share on your favourite social media platform (there are buttons below the recipe which make it SO easy). Or alternatively, just have a chat and tell them to get over here.
- 500g (1lb) rhubarb, washed, trimmed and cut into 5-10cm (2-4")chunks
- 75g-100g (3-4 oz) caster sugar (I used 75g/3oz)
- 1 orange, finely zested
- 2 vanilla beans, split down their length
- Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F), gas mark 4.
- Lay out the rhubarb in one layer on a shallow baking tray. Sprinkle with the caster sugar, zest the orange over the top and lay the vanilla beans on top to finish.
- Now encase the whole tray with a tine foil lid and bake in the oven for 20 minutes. At this stage, test to see if the rhubarb is cooked - if a sharp knife will pierce it easily, then it is ready.
- Serve warm or cold.