Rhubarb: First Fruits of Spring Article - Allrecipes.com
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Rhubarb: First Fruits of Spring

Vibrant color and pucker-up flavor make this unusual vegetable a springtime sensation.

It's a sure sign of spring when brightly colored rhubarb emerges from its long winter's nap. Cooks in northern regions, where rhubarb grows best, prize this hardy perennial for its tart, tender stalks.

When to Find the Freshest Rhubarb

Spring, whenever that comes in your part of the world.

How to Choose Rhubarb at the Store

You'll want crisp, straight stalks that are a bright color.

How to Store Rhubarb

Try to use rhubarb as soon as you buy it. If you must store it for longer, you can keep the stalks wrapped in plastic or in plastic bags for up to three weeks. (Don't cut the leaves off, they help the rhubarb stay fresh. Just make sure kids and critters can't get to them--they're toxic.) When you're ready to use the rhubarb, soak it in water first to get some color and firmness back.

How to Prepare Rhubarb

Trim off the ends and, if you like, tear out the celery-like strings in the stalk. (The strings can be a little tough, but cooking usually softens them up.) Throw away the toxic leaves.

How to Grow Rhubarb

You'll start rhubarb not from seeds, but from a plant you buy at the garden store. Rhubarb doesn't fully mature for two seasons, but it is a very pretty plant and will add color to your garden. Ask the friendly folks at your local garden store for information about planting rhubarb in your area.

Comments
elaine 
Apr. 21, 2010 12:28 am
what should rhubarb look like when I buy it at he store?
 
Apr. 25, 2010 4:05 pm
Great link!
 
Apr. 29, 2010 2:33 pm
It's an absolutely beautiful plant with huge, tropical-looking leaves and brilliant red stalks. If you've got space for a large (3-5 ft diam.) plant, I highly recommend it. Very easy to grow even in the north.
 
Lela 
May 14, 2010 12:13 am
strange plant to me. Don't think have ever seen this.. not is Singapore or any of our asian cooking.. sad...
 
sdr500 
May 24, 2010 6:46 am
How do I do a crown division and when?
 
sdr500 
May 24, 2010 6:48 am
Just a comment too that rhubarb leaves are poisonous, particularly to animals, and are never eaten.
 
sunflower 
May 30, 2010 7:23 am
Rhubarb is an interesting and exciting plant. Looks very tropical and lush in your garden. Grows well here in CA. and makes the best pies and tarts ever.
 
LiRM35M4419 
Jun. 3, 2010 10:46 am
Strawberry-rhubarb pie and jam are the best!
 
bee 
Jun. 16, 2010 11:39 am
great jam
 
Jun. 16, 2010 8:25 pm
Thanks for this, haven't seen it anywhere else. It's all you need to know about rhubarb! I am enjoying my crop right now.
 
Leila 
Jun. 25, 2010 8:07 am
My husband and I like the Rhubarb custard pie and we plan on planting at least two more plants. I like to cut in small chunks and freeze for the winter so always able to make the pie year around/
 
Leila 
Jun. 25, 2010 8:13 am
My husband and I like the Rhubarb custard pie and we plan on planting at least two more plants. I like to cut in small chunks and freeze for the winter so always able to make the pie year around.
 
signedumas 
Jun. 28, 2010 12:55 pm
Thanks for the information. This is my first year to cook with my rhubarb. I just planted it last year and it is something new for me. So thanks, thanks, thanks,
 
Penny 
Jul. 1, 2010 5:38 am
If you have children, the leaves make great hats. Do remind them not to chew on them, though.
 
Barb 
Aug. 21, 2010 7:23 pm
We grow Canada Red Rhubarb and it is beautiful when cooked - you don't need jello or another fruit to enhance it. I would like a recipe for rhubarb jam with nothing but sugar and Sure Jell. Does anyone have such a recipe ?
 
Debbie 
Aug. 30, 2010 7:15 am
When I was a little girl, my girlfriends mom would make rhubarb pie. I know you can buy strawberry rhubarb pie, but I would love a recipe for just rhubarb pie.
 
churchill 
Nov. 21, 2010 1:08 pm
I am growing rhubarb in middle Mexico at 7,300 feet. My third year. I am one of very few people growing it here.
 
MKM 
Feb. 28, 2011 3:06 pm
rhubarb is the best pie fruit,especially when picked from the back yard.my parents in Michigan have the best plants, and mom makes pies while my husband eats it like celery.didn't know the leaves are poisonous,thanks for the info.
 
Priscilla 
Mar. 9, 2011 3:28 pm
Try this rhubarb spritzer! Cook your rhubarb in water till soft. Strain and save the juice. Do not put it through a juicer as it will ruin your juicer. Put ice cubes in glass and add about 1/4 to 1/2 cup juice. Fill remainder with ginger ale. stir and enjoy. hope you enjoy!
 
kydebby62 
Apr. 6, 2011 3:31 pm
I read a great report that rhubarb was found to fight cancer cells. I also really would love to have a recipe for rhubarb jelly and rhubarb strawberry jello or jam. I'd also like it to be as easy as possible. Hopefully some amazing person knows how to do jelly with sugar and sure jell. My mom always used rhubarb to make pies and jelly. She was a wonderful canner, but I can all types of vegetables, but jelly and jam is not something I have tried yet.
 
fred 
Apr. 8, 2011 8:16 pm
To remove the natural bitterness, prepare the rhubarb for your recipe but pour boiling water over it before using it. You can greatly reduce the amount of sugar in your recipe.
 
Grandma Sharon 
Apr. 9, 2011 7:10 am
CAN U GROW this in TEXAS? I had it in Wisconsin ... but wonder can it be grown in the Austin TX area? If so are they things I can do to help it along? and SEEDS? or how do I plant this awesome great Rubarb.?? GOD BLESS AND THANKS
 
Apr. 29, 2011 8:03 am
The consistency of my rhubarb pie changes; sometimes it's too runny, other times its dry or PERFECT. Does the amount of rain we've had before harvesting change the amount of water in the rhubarb? What factors in to this?
 
Demetra 
May 14, 2011 4:16 am
I always just chop it up and put it in the pie shell. Throww some sugar over it and it is great just sweet and sour-tangy as I like it. No liquids added nothing just 1/2 a cup or less of sugar.
 
May 3, 2012 8:06 pm
Is there a spice or something I can add to rhubarb so I don't have to use so much sugar? I know other fruits help but I seem to remember someone having a tip for this. Thanks!
 
Just Me 
May 11, 2012 10:14 am
I would like a recipe for rhubarb sauce that I would can in small jars to use as an ice cream topping.
 
Pat 
Jul. 11, 2012 1:01 pm
How does one freeze rhubarb?
 
Jul. 29, 2012 5:38 pm
is there a certain time that I should not cut and use rhebarb from the garden? How do you prepare rhubarb for the winter, I live in south dakota? grandma
 
MichPhil 
Aug. 13, 2012 5:34 pm
@Pat I'm trying a new way of freezing this year. Slicing and ziplocking dried out the rhubarb. Try cutting into short stalks and vacuum sealing. That's what I'm trying this year.
 
 
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