Rhubarb almond galette. Photograph: Nikole Herriott/Michael Graydon
Too tart for some, too stringy for others, rhubarb is a vegetable struggling to find its place in a fruit world and, for whatever reason, I can relate to that.
Often just cooked to an indistinguishable mush, I think rhubarb’s long, elegant stalks deserve their own show. When baked in a galette, they maintain their lovely shape, showing off that vibrant pink colour for all to admire.
Go for the deepest, reddest stalks you can get your hands on, buy it all, chop it up and freeze it. While defrosted rhubarb isn’t spectacular for galettes (it will give off too much liquid as it defrosts), you can make some pretty fantastic jam with it.
egg 1 large, lightly beaten
plain flour for dusting
piecrust ½ quantity (see below)
almond paste 60g
rhubarb 1.15kg, halved lengthways, then cut crossways into 10-15cm pieces
vanilla ice-cream 110g (optional)
For the piecrust
plain flour 185g
caster sugar 1 tsp
salt 1 tsp
unsalted butter 140g, cold and chopped
apple cider vinegar 2 tsp
Preheat the oven to 190C/gas mark 5.
For the piecrust, in a large bowl, whisk the flour, sugar and salt together. Add the butter and toss to coat in the flour mixture. Using your hands, smash the butter between your palms and fingertips, mixing it into the flour, creating long, thin, flaky, floury, buttery bits. Once most of the butter is incorporated and there are no large chunks remaining, dump the flour mixture onto a work surface.
Combine the vinegar with 2 tablespoons of iced water and drizzle it over the flour mixture. Run your fingers through the mixture to evenly distribute the water through the flour until the dough starts coming together.
Knead the dough a few more times, just to gather up any dry bits from the bottom and place them on the top to be incorporated. Once you have a shaggy mass of dough (it will not be smooth and it certainly will not be shiny), knead it once or twice more. Divide the dough into two pieces, and pat each one into a flat disc, about 2.5cm thick. Wrap each one in clingfilm and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
To make the galette, beat the egg with 1 teaspoon of water and set aside (this is your egg wash).
Roll out one piece of dough on a lightly floured surface to a round 35-40cm in diameter, more or less. Transfer to a baking-paper-lined baking tray.
Flatten large bits of the almond paste between your palms until they are super thin (3-4mm) and place them on top of the dough, leaving a 5cm border. Arrange the rhubarb pieces over the almond paste. Don’t worry about placing them in any sort of pattern.
Fold the edges of the dough up and over the rhubarb. Brush the edges with the egg wash and sprinkle with the sugar, throwing most of it on top of the rhubarb. (Remember, the almond paste is pretty sweet, so you don’t need as much sugar as you think you might.)
Place the galette in the oven and bake until the crust is golden brown, 50-60 minutes. Let it cool slightly before eating with the best vanilla ice-cream you can find.
Dining In by Alison Roman (Hardie Grant, £22). To order a copy for £18.99 go to guardianbookshop.com. Free UK p&p on all online orders over £15
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