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Ways to Prepare Rhubarb

In Season: Rhubarb

Asparagus isn't the only stalk in season: rhubarb is also having a moment. Rhubarb resembles celery but has a vibrant pink color. Although many people mistake it for being a fruit, rhubarb is actually a vegetable. It's a member of the buckwheat family, can grow to be two feet long, and is at its peak from April to June. While rhubarb's leaves are poisonous, the stalks are highly edible.

When shopping for rhubarb at the farmers market, look for crisp stalks that are brightly hued. The leaves should be free of blemishes. Rhubarb is incredibly perishable; tightly wrap in a plastic bag and store in the refrigerator for up to three days. Remove the leaves and wash just before using. Since the flavor of rhubarb is very tart, it's often combined with sugar. Classic pairings for rhubarb are strawberries and ginger, but it goes with a number of other ingredients including apples, pears, fresh cheeses, vanilla, almonds, ham, duck, and salmon.

One can prepare rhubarb in both sweet and savory applications:

Do you enjoy the flavor of rhubarb? What's your favorite way to serve it?

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tiffsniff tiffsniff 6 years
My very favorite dish growing up was my grandmother's rhubarb pie. She grew the rhubarb herself, and always froze a lot of it so we could eat it year-round. Here's the recipe (such as it is): enough chopped fresh or frozen rhubarb to halfway fill a casserole dish (she always used her corningware, but I usually use a square Pyrex.) Cover the rhubarb with 1/2-1 cup sugar, depending on how sweet you want it. Top this with half a box of plain yellow cake mix (my grandmother always used a full box of Jiffy, if you can find it - it's a half-size product). Dot the cake mix with a stick of butter or margarine, cubed. Bake at 350 for about an hour. Serve with vanilla ice cream. The great thing about the way she made it is that it's so flexible; it can be easily increased or reduced depending on how much rhubarb you have, or how many people you want to serve. It's incredibly rich, so a little goes a long way, which is great when you're watching calories. Think I'll be hitting up the farmer's market this weekend!
mswender mswender 7 years
I love rhubarb!!!
fuzzles fuzzles 7 years
My mother makes the most incredible strawberry rhubarb jam from her garden. I love this time of year!
aimeeb aimeeb 7 years
chiefdishwasher chiefdishwasher 7 years
Now this is the perfect veggie....tastes like fruit and is great in pies!
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