We are right in the middle of forced rhubarb season. With some of the best rhubarb in the country and probably the world coming from a couple of hours away in Yorkshire I personally have first-hand knowledge of how this incredible ingredient is grown and picked, it would be a crime not to share a recipe using it! 

Ingredients: Serves 6 +
Panna cotta

2 x Handfuls flaked almonds 
400ml Cream
90g Caster sugar 
1 x Vanilla pod 
2 x Gelatine Leaves – softened 
Pistachio nuts – optional 
2 – 3 Forced rhubarb sticks
500ml water
100g Caster sugar 

Heat oven Gas mark 6/200c/fan 180c 
First roast the flaked almonds for around 6 – 8 mins in the oven until golden brown. Reserve some to finish the dish also. Next take a medium sized pan and bring the cream, vanilla and sugar to the boil. Once boiled add the flaked almonds and allow to sit for 5 minutes to infuse. If you have a stick blender give them a gentle blitz and then pass through a sieve into a clean jug/ bowl. Whisk in the soften gelatine and pour into moulds or rings. Allow this to chill in the fridge fully for around 2 hours.
For the rhubarb bring the sugar and water to the boil, add the rhubarb and take off the heat immediately – allow this to sit and cool in its own liquid.
Remove the panna cotta from the ring or mould, cut your rhubarb in to desired shapes and scatter with the remaining flaked almonds and a few pistachio nuts. Use the rhubarb cooking liquor as a syrup and pour in around the panna cotta. 

Gary Townsend is head chef at One Devonshire Gardens by Hotel du Vin, Glasgow. See www.hotelduvin.com or phone 0141 378 0385 to book.
Twitter @Chefgtownsend
Instagram- @chef.g.townsend