What Do I Do with Rhubarb?

Rhubarb, a classic produce variety of spring and early summer, is a vegetable that often gets cooked as though it were a fruit, lending its tart flavor to pies, compotes and more.

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Rhubarb Custard Pie

Rhubarb, a classic produce variety of spring and early summer, is a vegetable that often gets cooked as though it were a fruit. Its long, crisp stalks look a lot like reddish-pinkish-purplish celery. They are quite tart; often some sort of sweetener is adding in the cooking process, especially when rhubarb is used in dessert recipes. Its nickname is the “pie plant,” since it so often ends up as a pie filling — or crisp or cobbler — sometimes along with a sweeter fruit, like strawberries or raspberries. Rhubarb can also be made into jam or compote to be canned.

Rhubarb is sold in bunches, or sometimes as individual stalks. Choose fresh, crisp stalks with good color and no blemishes, then trim the tops and bottoms and peel off any noticeably stringy bits. If any leaves are attached, throw them out — they have a high level of natural toxins and should not be eaten. Rhubarb can be stored in the fridge for up to five days, wrapped in plastic.

Rhubarb Custard Pie (pictured above)
Roasted Rhubarb Compote from Food Network Magazine
Rhubarb Mimosa from Food Network Magazine

What's your favorite thing to make with rhubarb? Tell us in the comments.

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