Rhubarb is a summer favorite at our home and deserves a space in your garden. Many love it’s tangy, yet sweet flavor when added to pies and preserves, but it has so many more uses and really adds some oomph to your regular recipes.
One aspect of growing rhubarb is that it is a perennial and will provide you with many subsequent harvests after you initially plant it. Growers of rhubarb advise that it’s best to not harvest any stalks the first year of planting in order for the plant to concentrate on establishing it’s root system. In the second year a few stalks can be removed, and the third year harvest fully. The rhubarb plant is also extremely versatile in foods and has medicinal purposes  as well. Here are some delicious recipes to utilize your rhubarb harvest.
1. Rhubarb Iced Tea
For a refreshing spin on iced tea, try adding some rhubarb to the recipe.
- 8 stalks rhubarb, cut into 3-inch lengths
- 8 cups of water
- 3 tablespoons grated lemon peel
- 1/3 cup sugar, or to taste
- Fresh mint sprigs, for garnish
- In a large saucepan, combine rhubarb, lemon peels, and 8 cups water; bring to a boil, and slowly simmer on low heat for 1 hour.
- Strain the liquid, add sugar to taste, stirring to dissolve, and allow to cool.
- Serve over ice with a sprig of mint.
2. Rhubarb Bread
Makes 2 loaves
- 1¾ cup organic all-purpose flour, plus 2 tbsp reserved
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- 1½ cups sugar
- 1 egg
- ½ cup canola oil
- 1 cup yogurt
- 2 teaspoon of vanilla
- zest of 1 lemon
- 2 1/4 cups finely chopped rhubarb
- 1/2 cup walnuts, optional
- Grease two loaf pans (I used a 7 x 3½ and 10 x 3½). Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- In a large mixing bowl, sift 1¾ cups all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon into a medium bowl.
- In a separate mixing bowl, beat the sugar, egg, and oil until thoroughly combined (a minute or so). Add in the yogurt, vanilla, and zest and mix until fully incorporated. Slowly stir in walnuts. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix thoroughly.
- In a small bowl, toss the rhubarb pieces with the remaining 2 tbsp flour. With a rubber spatula, mix in the rhubarb until fully incorporated and the flour is no longer visible. Try not to overmix.
- Pour rhubarb mixture into the batter and incorporate.
- Pour into your greased pans and bake for 45-55 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the center of the loaves. Allow to cool on a wire rack.
3. Spinach Salad with Rhubarb Dressing
- 2 cups chopped fresh or frozen rhubarb
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup white vinegar
- 3/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1/4 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 3 tablespoons grated onion
- 1-1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Mix all ingredients until well combined and set aside.
- 1/2 pound fresh spinach leaves
- 1/4 cup bean sprouts
- 1/8 cup grated carrots
- 1/4 cup cheddar cheese
- 1 hard-boiled egg – coarsely chopped
- In a saucepan, combine rhubarb, sugar, and vinegar; cook over medium heat until the rhubarb is tender, about 6 minutes. Drain, reserving about 6 tablespoons juice; discard pulp.
- Pour juice into a jar with tight-fitting lid; add oil, onion, mustard, Worcestershire sauce and salt. Shake well. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
- Combine ingredients for salad and drizzle dressing on top before serving.
4. Roasted Rhubarb
This is an excellent recipe to use on pork chops, pork tenderloin our your favorite pork cut.
- 1 lb. rhubarb, trimmed and cut into slices 3/4-inch thick
- 1 large yellow onion, thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup chicken stock
- 1/2 teaspoon whole allspice, ground
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
- 1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
- Preheat an oven to 375°F. Butter the bottom of a roasting pan and set aside.
- To roast the rhubarb, combine the rhubarb, onion, olive oil, stock, allspice, and a sprinkle each of salt and pepper in the prepared pan. Toss to combine and spread the mixture out in an even layer.
- Cover the pan with aluminum foil and roast until the rhubarb and onion are tender, about 30 minutes.
- Remove the pan from the oven, uncover and sprinkle the rhubarb mixture with the brown sugar. Stir to distribute the sugar evenly and spread the mixture out again in an even layer.
- Cook meat and drizzle roasted rhubarb over meat.
5. Rhubarb Syrup
This simple syrup can be added to beverages, yogurt, fruit salads and more.
- 1 cup rhubarb, washed and cut into 1/2-inch chunks
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1-1/4 cups water
- Over high heat, add all ingredients to a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Once the mixture boils, reduce heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes until the rhubarb is falling apart and the color bleeds into the liquid.
- Remove from the heat and, using a fine-mesh strainer, strain and discard the rhubarb solids.
- Allow the syrup cool to room temperature, then transfer it to a resealable container and store in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks.
6. Rhubarb Vanilla Cordial
- 2-1/2 pounds of rhubarb chopped into 1-inch pieces
- 1 1/3 cup sugar
- 1 vanilla bean, scraped
- 1-liter vodka
- In a large sealable jar (i.e., mason jar), add all ingredients and shake until combined.
- Seal tightly and store in a cool, dark area of the pantry for 1 month.
- Strain the fruit and store in glass bottles.
As you can see, rhubarb will add charisma to any dish you add it to. Start experimenting with these recipes and take your meals to whole other level! What are some ways that you use rhubarb? Share your recipes below!