Instructions

  1. Put the rhubarb (minus your brightest red stalks for the garnish) into a 2-quart saucepan and cook over low to medium heat, stirring occasionally until it collapses and cooks down. Remove from the heat and cool; you should have about 1 1/2 cups. Set aside.

  2. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease and flour an 8 1/2" x 4 1/2" loaf pan.

  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, nutmeg, and lemon zest (or lemon oil). Stir in the walnuts.

  4. In another bowl, whisk together the eggs and vegetable oil. Combine with the 1 1/2 cups of cooked rhubarb.

  5. Stir the egg and rhubarb mixture into the dry ingredients, mixing until the batter is evenly moistened. Transfer the batter to the prepared pan, and sprinkle with the optional sparkling sugar.

  6. Wash the reserved rhubarb stalks and cut in half lengthwise. Place, cut side down, on top of the batter in the pan.

  7. Bake the bread for 55 to 60 minutes, until a cake tester, toothpick, or paring knife inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove the loaf from the oven and cool it in the pan for 15 minutes. Then remove itf from the pan and place it on a rack to finish cooling completely before slicing.

  8. Store the bread, well wrapped, at room temperature for three days; or sliced and frozen for up to 3 months.