The return of rhubarb is always a welcome sign of spring. Though often used in desserts, rhubarb is indeed a vegetable. The leaves are toxic, but the stalks are tart and delicious. Rhubarb is high in vitamins A and C, as well as minerals such as calcium.
Store rhubarb refrigerated in a plastic bag or the crisper drawer for a week. Stems will soften if they dehydrate. Rhubarb can also be frozen for longer-term storage – simply chop, put in a freezer bag, and stick in the freezer.
Some people enjoy eating rhubarb raw, though it will be tart. More frequently some sugar is added and it is cooked down into a sauce or pie/crisp.
1 lb. rhubarb
½ cup water
½-¾ cup sugar
Ground cinnamon and/or vanilla extract (optional)
In a pot, heat water and sugar to boiling, stirring occasionally. Add rhubarb and reduce heat to a simmer. Continue to simmer for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until rhubarb becomes tender. Add cinnamon and/or vanilla, if using. Serve warm over ice cream or cake, or in hand pies or stuffed French toast with cream cheese.
3 cups rhubarb, diced
1 cup white sugar
3 T all-purpose flour + 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1 cup quick cooking oats
1 cup butter
Preheat oven to 375°F and lightly grease a 9”x13” baking dish. Combine rhubarb, white sugar, and 3 T flour in a large bowl. Spread evenly into baking dish. Next, combine brown sugar, oats, and 1 ½ cups flour in a mixing bowl. Stir well and add butter until mixture is crumbly; sprinkle over rhubarb layer. Bake for 40 minutes.
1 lb. rhubarb stalks, coarsely chopped
1 ½ cups sugar
Combine rhubarb with 2 cups water in a pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer until rhubarb is soft enough to be mashed with a spoon (about 15 minutes). Place a sieve or colander over a large bowl; strain rhubarb and let drip undisturbed (if you push the rhubarb down they syrup could become cloudy). Discard solids, return liquid to pot, add sugar, and bring to a boil while skimming any foam that appears on the top. Pour into a jar or pitcher, and store in the fridge. Enjoy by adding syrup to club soda for a refreshing flavored soda (and gin or vodka to make into a cocktail), or drizzle over cut melon to brighten flavors.