About: Rhubarb

The rhubarb my mother grows (and even what she grew when I was a child) always seems to turn from a bright red the first season to a dull green in subsequent years. It was just as delicious but there is something about the beautiful rosy color that adds to the appeal. Germans make a wonderful yeasted rhubarb cake, sometimes with streusel on top and sometimes with a custard. And of course rhubarb pie (with or without strawberries) is a treat as is rhubarb crisp or cobbler.

 

Italians make a wonderful rhubarb mostarda, a chutney like sweet/savory condiment seasoned with mustard and various other spices and ingredients. Rhubarb is delicious roasted and can be used in savory recipes. My friend and chef Ellen Jackson developed a lovely lentil soup recipe with rhubarb.

 

Rhubarb freezes beautifully for pies and crisps in mid winter. It is not good raw as it is just too astringent (at least for me). Its leaves are also poisonous so be sure to remove any leaf remnants that might still be attached to the stalk.