8 Ways to Eat Rhubarb

Grandma's Strawberry-Rhubarb Pie: Valarie Enters, Food Network Challenge

Photo by: Tara Donne ©Tara Donne

Tara Donne, Tara Donne

Grandma's Strawberry-Rhubarb Pie: Valarie Enters, Food Network Challenge

Along with longer days and warmer weather (hopefully coming soon), spring brings with it a bounty of fresh fruits and vegetables, from strawberries to bright peas and onions. As you peruse your local farmers market or browse the aisles of your grocery store, look for stalks of rhubarb; it’s a seasonal spring pick that, while a bit bitter on its own, can be easily sweetened up in some classic desserts and pairs well with naturally sweet fruits, like those fresh strawberries. Read on to check out some of the best ways to put rhubarb to work.

Photo by: Tara Donne ©FOOD NETWORK : 2012, Television Food Network, G.P.

Tara Donne, FOOD NETWORK : 2012, Television Food Network, G.P.

It’s best to opt for a mix of butter and shortening when making the crust for this top-rated pie; while the butter promises indulgent flavor, the shortening turns out a delicate, flaky pastry.

Strawberry Rhubarb Shortcake

Strawberry Rhubarb Shortcake

Whereas Grandma’s Strawberry-Rhubarb Pie is the ultimate in tried-and-true rhubarb pie presentation, this version, featuring a rich, creamy custard base, delivers all the sweet comfort you crave. When you’re shopping for the rhubarb to make this pie, take it from the chefs in Food Network Kitchen: “There are many varieties of rhubarb, which accounts for how the stalks vary in color from a deep red to a pale green. Although the flavor is delicious on all kinds, this pie looks prettiest with the red-stalked varieties.” Bonus: This recipe comes together with a store-bought pie crust, so the prep work is simple.

Unlike pies that require careful rolling of the dough, crisps ask for little more than a solid stir when prepping their pastry topping. Anne Burrell’s recipe brings together oats, brown sugar and butter for a, um, crisp bite to finish this fan-favorite dessert.

Take advantage of the welcome shortcut that is frozen puff pastry when making this 5-star tart. After prebaking the dough, top it with a smooth filling of pureed strawberries and rhubarb, and finish with extra berries on top for added texture.

This easy-to-make recipe puts the “cake” in “shortcake” by featuring a double-layered beauty stacked with traditional shortcake fixings like fluffy whipped cream and a ruby-red filling.

Rhubarb pairs just as beautifully with raspberries as it does with fresh strawberries. Here rhubarb is baked with homemade raspberry syrup until tender, and served with vanilla ice cream.

“We like to bake this cake the day before we serve it so the flavors and texture ripen. If you bake it a day ahead, glaze the day you plan to serve it,” the chefs in Food Network Kitchen advise.

Follow Bobby Flay’s lead and try drinking your rhubarb instead of eating it. He preps a simple syrup with fresh rhubarb to serve as the base of these tequila-spiked sippers, which he pours over strawberries when serving.

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