Hey Rhubarb! This post is full of all the rhubarb intel you need including; when to buy rhubarb, how to store rhubarb, how to cook rhubarb, health benefits of eating rhubarb. Plus 5 delicious and healthy rhubarb recipes!
You may have seen these glorious ruby and green stalks at your local farmers market recently, I snapped this shot just last week at the Union Square GreenMarket in NYC.
Rhubarb is technically a vegetable, although it is most frequently referred to as a fruit. It grows year-round in green houses but field rhubarb is one of the first vegetables/fruits of spring and grows through summer.
You will find a variance in color, some stalks more green, some more red, some down right pretty in pink. The red stalks tend to be sweeter.
How to Buy and Store Rhubarb:
When purchasing rhubarb look for firm bright stalks, not limp or sad. Discard the leaves as they contain high levels of oxalic acid, and it's that ruby stalk you are after.
Power in the Plant! Health Benefits of Rhubarb:
Rhubarb has been used medicinally for centuries as a digestive tonic, typically it is the older rhubarb root that is used in pills and as a curative.
For the more quotidian benefits of eating rhubarb, it has as much calcium as a glass of milk and rivals dark leafy greens for the concentration of vitamin K.
How to Cook Rhubarb. PLUS Radical Rhubarb Recipes (and easy ones too):
As for taste, rhubarb is tart. Very tart. Think almost tart like a cranberry but the texture (raw) of celery.
Typically rhubarb is paired with sweeter fruits and a bucket load of sugar to tame the tart. The most common pairing is strawberry rhubarb pie. Strawberries help to balance out the tart rhubarb flavor and provide texture as rhubarb also gets quite soft once baked.
I, however, really love to play with rhubarb in savory dishes. I actually love the tart citrus bite of this spring beauty paired with salty cheese and crunchy pine nuts.
Honey Roasted Rhubarb Salad with Fennel and Mint
Preheat oven to 450
Toss rhubarb with honey and allow to sit for 5 minutes
Roast in oven for 5-8 minutes, until just tender. Allow to cool
In the meantime toast pine nuts in oven until slightly brown.
In a large bowl toss fennel, mint, and lettuce with olive oil, salt, and meyer lemon juice
Arrange greens on 4 plates. To each plate add a few slices of rhubarb, pine nuts, feta, fennel fronds, and lemon zest. Drizzle some of the honey liquid from roasted rhubarb over top.
In addition to piling rhubarb on salads, I also reserve some for my morning yogurt parfait.
I simply combined honey roasted rhubarb with plain Greek yogurt, hemp seeds, coconut, and cinnamon. Yes, this one is drool-worthy.
Making rhubarb compote is another classic use of this veggie/fruit/veggie/fruit 😉
Here is my favorite rhubarb compote recipe.
I also found that rhubarb is ideally suited tucked into crumbly beautiful muffins. My favorite muffin of all time is cranberry walnut, I love the tart bite of cranberry with a sweet cake-y muffin. Well, if rhubarb is chopped small and subbed for cranberries in your favorite cranberry walnut muffin recipe they turn out absolutely delicious. I made a batch, but forgot to write down the recipe so you will have to play and let me know how yours turn out.
Final rhubarb in the kitchen thoughts…
I made this Earl Grey Rhubarb Sparkler and it was a total winner! It turns out that the citrus, and bergamot in Earl Grey tea work perfectly with tart rhubarb.
It's so simple:
Earl Grey Rhubarb Sparkler
*Steep 2 earl grey tea bags in 2 cups of water for 10 minutes. Add 2 cups chopped rhubarb, 1/4 cup honey, and cook for 15 minutes. Strain through a fine mesh sieve. Chill. Add sparkling water or champagne.
Rhubarb Recipe Update:
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