I don't remember the exact circumstances of my first experience with rhubarb, other than that it vaguely involved a pie. What I vividly remember was the bitter, celery-like crunch of the rhubarb. Suffice it to say, that remained my only experience with rhubarb for many years.
Fast forward to this past weekend, with me flipping through Sophie Dahl's gorgeous second cookbook Very Fond of Food. There isn't much that Sophie's writing doesn't make sound appealing and rhubarb was no exception. In spite of my past dislike, when I saw her recipe for rhubarb rice pudding, I knew I had to try it.
And guess what? I loved it! The rhubarb boiled down until it was tender, adding the perfect tartness and hint of pink to the creamy pudding, which was incredibly simple to make (and not too unhealthy, either). The full recipe can be found here (scroll down towards the bottom). In the book it's grouped with Spring breakfasts, and it would obviously be a lovely dessert, but I've been enjoying it as a little after work bowl of comfort.