A spring staple for northern gardeners everywhere, rhubarb is one of the very first plants to bear after the snow melts. While strawberry rhubarb pie is the most well-known way to cook rhubarb, the sky is the limit.
Rhubarb has an acidic, tart flavor with just a hint of sweetness. That high acid content is what makes it great for desserts, but it also means that rhubarb complements meats and savory dishes.
How to Peel Rhubarb
Regardless of how I’m cooking rhubarb, I always start by peeling it. While many sites will tell you that peeling rhubarb is unnecessary, the peels are stringy and catch in your teeth. It’s hard to get clean rhubarb slices without peeling it. And really, peeling rhubarb is simple, and only takes a minute.
Start with a very sharp paring knife, and slip the knife under the skin at the end of a rhubarb stalk. The skin is very thin, but also quite tough. Looking at the end of a rhubarb stalk, you should be able to clearly see the skin as distinct from the rest of the rhubarb meat.
Once you’ve got your knife slipped under the edge, pin the rhubarb peel there with your thumb. The peel should immediately begin to pull away from the stalk.
Keep pulling until you’ve worked your way all the way down the rhubarb stalk. What’s left is a tender piece of rhubarb, without all that annoying stringiness to stick in your teeth. This is especially useful in things like stewed rhubarb, where the inner part of the rhubarb stalk disintegrates, and unless you peel them you’ll be left with long strands of a stringy tough peel.
Note that some varieties of rhubarb are only red on the outside. If you want to make stunning pink baked goods, sauces and syrups you’ll need to choose a red rhubarb variety. There are quite a few choices available here.
How to Cook Rhubarb
Rhubarb is pretty forgiving. Chopped into chunks, it can hold its shape in muffins and remain firm in pies. Cooked in a pan with a bit of gentle stirring and it’ll disintegrate into an easy stewed rhubarb to top ice cream. Roasted in whole stalks on a sheet pan, rhubarb makes a particularly dramatic presentation and the roasting brings out its sweetness.
Easy Rhubarb Recipes
Rhubarb Breakfast Recipes
Sweet Rhubarb Recipes
Old Fashioned Rhubarb Recipes
Savory Rhubarb Recipes
Healthy Rhubarb Recipes
Rhubarb Drink Recipes
What’s your favorite way to cook rhubarb? Have I missed any great rhubarb recipes? Leave me a note in the comments below.