June 10th, 2014

Rhubarb

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Rhubarb by Early Morning Farm

Rhubarb is a vegetable that makes it’s appearance in the spring when the temperature starts to warm up.  The stalks are used in baking and cooking, and they are similar in appearance to celery with colors ranging from deep red to pale pink with green streaks.  They leaves of the rhubarb plant are not edible, as they can contain higher amounts of oxalic acid which can be toxic in large quantities.  The stalks are safe for eating, although very tart tasting when raw and most often cooked with sugar for desserts.  Rhubarb is often paired with strawberry, as in the popular strawberry rhubarb pie.  Farm to Table restaurants and chefs cooking seasonally have recently made rhubarb more popular, using it in dishes from sweet to savory.


Weeding the rhubarb patch in the spring.

Weeding the rhubarb patch in the spring.

Storage

Sealed in a plastic bag, in the refrigerator.


Preparation

Rhubarb is very tart raw, so most people do not snack on it uncooked (although you’re welcome to try!).  To prepare, trim the cut ends and remove any leaves that remain.  The leaves are not recommended for eating.  If the rhubarb is stringy, you can peel it or just cut it into smaller pieces.  Once cooked rhubarb has a soft, pleasant texture.  Rhubarb stewed with sugar can be used in baking and pies, it can also be put into savory dishes and pickled.


Recipes

Brown Sugar Rhubarb Tarts

Rhubarb Simple Syrup

Rhubarb Hand Pies

Rhubarb Tart with Brown Butter

Market Manager’s Rhubarb Sauce

Rhubarb Compote

Rhubarb Bars

Pickled Rhubarb


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