Rhubarb 5 Ways

by in 1 Food, 5 Ways, In Season, April 13, 2010
Rhubarb Crumble Recipe
Spring Rhubarb Crumble - Photo by Con Poulos/Food Network Magazine

I’ve always been fascinated by nutrient-packed rhubarb. It looks like a large piece of red celery, is incredibly tart and is a frequent dessert star.  But don’t limit rhubarb to the sweets table — there are quite a few things to do with this quintessential spring goodie.  If you’ve never experienced this pleasingly sour plant, try it! Here are 5 different ways.

Classic Rhubarb Crumble
Sweet strawberries are a common foil for tart rhubarb, but a hazelnut topping adds sweetness to this springy crumble. A few spoonfuls of this warm, crunchy dessert is all you need.
RECIPE: Rhubarb Crumble (pictured)

Brownies! (Yes, Brownies)
Chocolate and rhubarb – what a fantastically unexpected pair. Cut brownies into small squares for bite-sized portions. This recipe is at the top of my list when I bring rhubarb home from the farmers market!
RECIPE: Mexican Rhubarb Chocolate Chunk Brownies

Vinegar

Leave it to Claire Robinson to come up with such a simple (and low calorie) rhubarb-infused sauce. Drizzle on grilled fish or roasted veggies.
RECIPE: Roasted Asparagus with Rhubarb Vinegar

Chutney
This spicy condiment is sweet, tart and full of bold flavor. Serve it with pork, chicken, shrimp or cheese and some crusty whole grain bread.
RECIPE: Sautéed Pork Chops with Sherry-Berry Pan Gravy

Grown-Up Milkshake
This decadent cocktail is made with sugar, vodka, cognac and ice cream. Keep servings to just one of these babies or save some calories and share with a buddy.
RECIPE: Cool Rhuby Cordial

TELL US: What’s your favorite rhubarb recipe?

Dana Angelo White, MS, RD, ATC, is a registered dietitian, certified athletic trainer and owner of Dana White Nutrition, Inc., which specializes in culinary and sports nutrition. See Dana’s full bio »

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Comments (37)

  1. Food recipes says:

    It’s quite amazing that Brownies can be made out of rhubarb. You mention that rhubarb is sour so their combination with chocolate make brownies is an excellent piece of culinary skill. My interest is mostly drawn to your opening comment about the nutritious nature of rhubarb. Following your link further, it’s quite relieving that this almost ignored plant can have so much usefulness. Such a simple plant having vitamin C and vitamin E and then secondary properties of a laxative is good. But your post suggests why they aren’t much used – they appear for a short time in spring so many will not notice much.

    • PATTI CHADD says:

      i just baked a strawberry rhubarb pie, o mg it is sooooo good, my own receipe a dash of vanilla, and 2 tbls cinn, 1 cup sugar, pinch of salt, , cooked and then add cornstarch in a 1/4 cup cold water, cook and stir for thickening, bake in double crusted deep dish pie pan at 350. serve warm or cold plain or with ice cream, or whipped cream. and serve with your favorite coffee or milk,. i am sur you just have to think thinm, hahah

    • Margaret says:

      You can stew and freeze rhubarb, and "forced" rhubarb is available in the winter. Forced rhubarb is grown under cover and is sweeter than the outdoor production. If you want to grow it yourself it is quite easy, but it does need a fairly rainy climate.

  2. Angela says:

    I like to simply cut it into bite-sized pieces, cook it down with some sugar, and serve it over vanilla ice cream.

  3. JOANIE says:

    I LIKE TO MAKE A SMOTHIE WITH I CONTAINER LOWCARB YOGURT, CUP OF FROZEN STRAWBERRIES & I/2 BANANA . PUT IN A BLENDER ADD I/2 CUP RHUBARB JUICE UNSWEETENED & U HAVE A LOW FAT,LOW CALORIE FRUIT SMOOTHIE! JOANIE

  4. lisa says:

    I love rhubarb bread with a strussel topping!

  5. Mario says:

    My favorite rhubarb recipe is good old, rhubarb pie. I am 37 years old and for the last 20 years or so, I have replaced my birthday cake with rhubarb pie. I have two daughters, age 8 and 5 who now love the pie as well. My daughters and I love to see the early buds of our rhubarb plant growing each spring in our garden.

    • Pauline Roberts says:

      Mario
      I would love to try the rhubarb pie. It sounds wonderful. My Mother-in-law made one years ago that was fantastic but forgot all about it and did't know what happened to the recipe. My e-mail address is probmag@att.net. Thank you in advance. Pauline

  6. Colleen says:

    For the Rhubarb Crumble recipe above, another variation would be to use 1 pound of rhubarb only, then add 1 pound of fresh strawberries, 1/4 cup of flour, two tablespoons of fresh squeezed orange juice and 1 tablespoon of orange zest. For this variation, use sliced almonds instead of the hazelnuts, or leave nuts out altogether.

    Another special rhubarb treat is strawberry rhubarb pie.

    Enjoy your rhubarb!

    Colleen

  7. Barb says:

    My family always request my raspberry rhubarb galette. An openfaced rustic tart, slightly sweented crust pinched into folds around the edges. I often freeze extra rhubarb so more can be made later in the season.

  8. Janet says:

    I, too, freeze rhubarb in packages of 2 cups and use it throughout the year.
    My family looks forward to rhubarb custard pie for Thanksgiving.
    My Irish grandmother grew up on rhubarb in the old country and when,
    she came to Iowa, it was the first thing she made sure was on the farm.
    She use to tell us that it scrubs the bottom of pots really well.

    • Harold Phillips says:

      I am 81 yrs old and a lifetime fan of rhubarb but never heard of a custard rhubarb pie. It sounds delicious, would you please share your recipe? Harold Phillips in Indy

  9. Mary Covington says:

    Rhubarb and strawberries–good. Rhubarb and fresh or frozen blueberries–a match made in heaven! Just substitute the blueberries in all your recipes, especially rhubarb and strawberry preserves. Rhubarb can be found in the frozen food section with other frozen fruits in many grocery stores all year round, so you never have to do without :>)

  10. Dan Arent says:

    Instead of a Rhubarb Strawberry pie, Use Tart Cherries instead of Strawberries. OMG talk about a wonderful dessert!!!!!

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