Rhubarb is one of the first new ingredients to pop up at farmers’ markets come spring, but plenty of cooks are hesitant to bring it into their kitchens. And understandably so — rhubarb’s celery-like stalks have a crisp texture and tart taste, unlike the season’s much friendlier sweet and tender berries.
Always trim away any rhubarb leaves attached to the stalks — they are toxic and should not be eaten.
Rhubarb is actually a vegetable, though it’s treated like a fruit in most recipes. One trick for beginners working with rhubarb is to add a good dose of sugar, balancing the tartness. Its delicious transformation after sweetening and cooking has earned rhubarb the nickname “pie plant.” For that reason rhubarb is often seen in desserts and preserves, and only occasionally raw.
Mix up your maple syrup routine by choosing a sweet-tart waffle topping instead. These Raised Waffles with Strawberry-Rhubarb Compote are easy to prepare ahead for busy mornings.
Tangy raw rhubarb is a bright, refreshing match to the creamy cheese and earthy nuts in this Shaved Rhubarb Salad with Almonds and Cheese. Add sliced grilled or roasted chicken for a more satisfying meal.
These not-too-sweet Ginger-Rhubarb Muffins are perfect for pairing with coffee or tea in the afternoon.
This rhubarb-mustard condiment makes a wonderful accompaniment to pork in our Grilled Double-Cut Pork Chops with Rhubarb Mostarda. If possible, make the mostarda the day before, which will allow its complex flavors to meld.
A rustic crumble is a delicious way to end any meal, and this Strawberry and Rhubarb Crumble showcases the best fruit of the season. Serve it in individual mugs or bowls for a more elegant presentation.