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Mar 31, 2009 03:08 PM

What is your favorite rhubarb recipe?

God, I love rhubarb and start craving rhubarb crisp every time I see someone typing about it on any of these boards. What is your favorite rhubarb recipe? You can guess mine. ;)

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  1. A plain rhubarb tart with maybe a little creamn aglaise would meke me happy. i don't like my rhubarb adulterted with strawberies or other stuff.

    34 Replies
    1. re: Candy

      That would make me happy, too. I agree, I don't need any other fruit in the way of my rhubarb enjoyment. ;)

      1. re: kattyeyes

        Is it a fruit? I wish I had some, I just love it.

        1. re: chef chicklet

          I never thought about it, but your question made me check. Well, whaddyaknow, it's not a fruit. I think of it as one because we eat it in pies, crisps, puddings...but it's a vegetable. Learn something new every day! ;)

          1. re: kattyeyes

            Michigander, Rhubard right out of the garden with a dip of sugar. Great!! I still love it.

            1. re: kattyeyes

              I just planted some rhubarb for the first time, looks like it's growing.

              I love to make rhubarb with lentils in a curry sauce and then serve over brown rice. I never think sweet myself, I love it this way.

              1. re: kattyeyes

                It looks like red celery, right? What does it taste like?
                (never had it or seen it)

                1. re: bayoucook

                  bayoucook: exactly, it looks like red celery and is ultra-tart in taste. Maybe we should start a separate rhubarb thread to collect recipes? ;)

                  coll: I never knew rhubarb could be made in a savory way. Is that how your family made it when you were growing up? Now I totally can't conceptualize it as I'm familiar with eating it as crisp, pudding or pie, but am intrigued just the same.

                  1. re: kattyeyes

                    No, my grandmother grew it at our country house but I think she considered it a pest plant, there was a giant patch of it that they mowed down in the beginning of the summer every year.
                    I got a recipe from the New York Times, probably Mark Bittman, but modified it quite a bit. I look forward to it this time of year so much, that's why I planted it this year! I change this dish every time I make it , but if you want some general guidelines, I can write it out for you.

                    1. re: coll

                      Very interesting. Part of me really wants to see the recipe for the shock of it and the other part of me doesn't want to waste your time in case I think, oh man, no one will eat this in our house. ;) It does pique my curiosity, so if you would like to share when you have a few minutes, that would be cool. I can't wait to tell my mom about this and see her reaction...very similar to my friend's sister who visited us from France who was appalled to find me eating peanut butter sauce on my hot fudge sundae "Mummy puts that on BEEF!" ;)

                      1. re: kattyeyes

                        I tried to look up the original recipe on NYTimes recipe search using "rhubarb", but don't remember what the recipe is called. However I noticed that they are half and half, dessert versus savory (a lot of compotes and chutneys for example). Anyway here's what I do, but it's sort of haphazard, like most of my invented recipes:

                        5 or 6 stalks of rhubarb, cut 1/2 "
                        apples or applesauce
                        bananas, berries (strawberry is my favorite) or any leftover fruit you have
                        1cup red lentils or cannellini beans
                        1 cup chick peas or green peas
                        1/2 c sweetener (I've used sugar in the raw, honey or agave)
                        dried fruit: raisins, craisins, apricots etc, or jar of chutney
                        lots of curry powder or paste, also garam masala
                        nuts if you like (cashew or almond is best)
                        2 c chicken stock, or fruit juice, and/or coconut milk
                        splash of brandy or sherry
                        bay leaf, ginger, fennel and/or mustard seed, cinnamon stick

                        Anyway, just use what you have on hand. Put all in a pot and simmer for 30 to 60 minutes til thickened.

                        Serve with brown rice and/or naan, with yogurt as a condiment.

                        I eat this like a snack! And since my husband and his family despise curry, it's all mine!!

                        1. re: coll

                          Thank you for sharing. It's definitely not a combination of ingredients that would ever cross my mind, but I'll bet it's really good. If/when I embark on this adventure, I will definitely post back to let you know. Hope the Easter bunny is good to you and yours!

                          1. re: kattyeyes

                            If this rain and thunder ever stops, that's all I want for Easter!

                          2. re: coll

                            I hadn't heard of any savory rhubarb recipes either until I got that spiral-bound "Joy of Rhubarb" book. I found a ham with rhubarb glaze recipe last year, from epicurious, I think, that was pretty good. One of out COTM's last year, Flexitarian Table, had a rhubarb lentils recipe. I'm not a giant fan of lentils and, in the end, felt this dish was a waste of good rhubarb. Another COTM last year, Hopkinson's "Roast Chicken and Other Stories" had a rhubarb fool recipe I really enjoyed. The current COTM --Rose Bakery--has a couple of rhubarb recipes I can't wait to try!

                            But, yeah, pie is my favorite rhubarb delivery vehicle.


                            1. re: The Dairy Queen

                              No way--"Joy of Rhubarb"--that's a hoot! And ham with rhubarb glaze sounds yummy. I'll have to look for it. Thanks!

                      2. re: kattyeyes

                        Yes, bayoucook -- it looks like red celery like kattyeyes said. But besides saying it's tart I can't think of any words to describe it. It really has its own taste. I can't think of anything to compare it to. I love the stuff. Rhubarb custard pie especially, where the custard offsets the sourness. And you can make a drink with it (sweetened of course) to pour over ice. You might be able to buy some frozen to give it a try. I see it in our freezer case usually. Better fresh of course but it would be a way of trying it if you don't see it fresh where you are.

                        1. re: karykat

                          We finally got our first rhubarb from a friend's garden and made the following rhubarb custard recipe. I saved the drained liquid to make some sort of drink during the week. Used 1 cup of sugar and 1/2 and 1/2 instead of cream. Delicious!

                          1. re: kattyeyes

                            DELAYED EDIT--we used *1/2* cup of sugar in the recipe linked above instead of 1/4 cup (not 1 cup). My apologies for the typo.

                            1. re: kattyeyes

                              The leftover liquid/rhubarb simple syrup is very enjoyable mixed into plain Greek yogurt. I'm eating my way through leftovers and found this to be a very tasty combo!

                              1. re: kattyeyes

                                Rhubarb syrup + Pellegrino = a refreshing soda not unlike a natural, homemade Ting!

                                1. re: kattyeyes

                                  I just discovered this drink last night! So delicious and refreshing. I'm sure adding a bit of rum wouldn't hurt either.

                          2. re: kattyeyes

                            Yes me too, never had anything but sweet versions. But that's interesting, I sort of lumped it into the fruit category also.

                          3. re: bayoucook

                            bayoucook just a word of warning. Discard the leaves. They are poisonous and can make you very sick. Do not be tempted to cook them up like beet tops, mustard or turnip greens.

                            1. re: Candy

                              Thanks y'all. Now I'm really curious and will be on the hunt for it.
                              Don't want to miss something you hold in high regard, and I love new things. I'll let you know.

                            2. re: bayoucook

                              It is not necessarily red; there are pinkish and green varieties as well. It rarely has any strings large enough to remove. It is VERY tart and can be used raw in salads but is usually cooked with plenty of sugar. According to Martha Stewart, the classic Strawberry-Rhubarb Pie is the result of a misunderstanding. There's little or no overlap in their harvest season in most areas. But one of the red varieties is called strawberry rhubarb, and you can figure out the rest.

                              However, the best pie I ever had was a homemade Orange Rhubarb Pie and I finally tracked down the recipe from a relative of the former baker/owner at the cafe where I had it, about a decade later. I've yet to make it:
                              AUNT ROSE'S RHUBARB PIE
                              3 c fine-chopped rhubarb
                              1-1/2 c sugar
                              2 T flour
                              2 beaten eggs
                              2 T grated orange rind
                              Pastry for one-crust pie
                              Mix first 3 ingredients and pour into crust; distribute rind on top, bake 35 min at 400.
                              Note: I am not certain this was actually the pie I had, because I remember asking her about it and am pretty sure she said she'd added cooked chopped orange. I also think it was a double-crust pie. The blackboard specials were strawberry-rhubarb jello and strawberry-rhubarb pie. When the pie arrived, it was not the least bit pink or red. I tasted it, then hailed the waitress and said it was terrific, but not strawberry. She was flummoxed but spoke to the proprietress, who came over to apologize for the error on the menu board so I was able to compliment her in person.
                              I need to make this and see how it compares.

                              This is a great source:

                              1. re: bayoucook

                                It looks like red celery, right? What does it taste like?
                                (never had it or seen it)

                                rhubarb is in fact related to celery, and both celery and rhubarb are noticeably, naturally salty! there are green varieties of rhubarb as well as pink/red. one thing about rhubarb is that you never eat the green leaves, they are toxic.

                              2. re: kattyeyes

                                Is it true that if it has seeds it's a fruit (tomato) and if it doesn't have seeds, it's not (rhubarb)?

                                1. re: c oliver

                                  It seems true to me...clearly the "if it makes a nice dessert" logic isn't a strong enough criterion for fruitdom. HA HA!

                                  Here's a science project for you. Note it requires adult supervision. "They" must have heard about your knife incident last week. LOLOL!

                                  1. re: kattyeyes

                                    Evil girl :) Just who are "they"??? I have considered posting about it. $50 for a new pasta roller and paring knife broke also. Just wait; you're going to be old some day.

                                  2. re: c oliver

                                    Seeds: peppers, squashes and eggplant, which I don't think are classified as fruit. Pineapple, on the other hand, is seedless, no? And is coconut a fruit or a nut?

                                    1. re: c oliver

                                      fruit (botanical term) protects the seeds, which are found on the inside.

                                    2. re: kattyeyes

                                      Thaks for checking, I honestly didn't know. I've only had it sweet. Yum.

                                2. re: Candy

                                  Rhubarb compote. It's simple and tasty.

                                3. This is lovely, because it's more of a cake than a crisp. The cake part is so moist and flavorful. I use it with other fruits, too.

                                  1 cup all-purpose flour
                                  1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
                                  1/8 teaspoon salt
                                  5 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
                                  1 1/3 cups granulated sugar, divided
                                  1 teaspoon vanilla extract
                                  1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
                                  1 large egg
                                  1/2 cup 1% low-fat milk
                                  4 cups (1-inch-thick) slices rhubarb (about 1 pound)

                                  Preheat oven to 350°.

                                  Lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Combine flour, baking powder, and salt, stirring well with a whisk. Place butter in a large bowl, and beat with a mixer at medium speed until smooth. Add 2/3 cup granulated sugar; beat until well blended. Add vanilla, cinnamon, and egg, beating well. Beating at low speed, add flour mixture and milk alternately to sugar mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture; beat just until smooth.

                                  Combine rhubarb and remaining 2/3 cup granulated sugar in an 8-inch square baking dish coated with cooking spray. Spoon batter over rhubarb mixture. Bake at 350° for 45 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.

                                  7 Replies
                                  1. re: katecm

                                    Yesterday I made Beatrice Okajangas' Deep-Dish Rhubarb Cake from her "Great Holiday Baking Book". It's like a riff on upside-down cake -- butter melted in a square glass baking pan, sprinkled with brown sugar, covered with sliced rhubarb and spread with a thick butter-cake batter. Result is a rhubarb-compote-like bottom layer and mellow buttery cake on top. Very good warm, with vanilla ice cream (when the Häagen-Dazs ran out, we continued with Green & Black's Organic Vanilla, which was unloved -- seemed chalky and plastic-y in comparison).

                                    1. re: JP_nyc

                                      hey awesome book btw! highly recommended. i haven't made that rhubarb cake recipe yet, but since i just got a load of rhubarb, maybe i will this week-- thanks for mentioning the recipe.

                                      1. re: soupkitten

                                        I have the book too and love rhubarb so this is definitely on my to-do list. Thanks.

                                        1. re: soupkitten

                                          i did make the cake and concur with JPnyc's description. it's a little home-y and old-fashioned in appearance but it tastes very good. had it warm w/o ice cream, i guess now i have to pick some up & reheat the cake

                                      2. re: katecm

                                        Katecm: I made this a couple days ago, and it was great. Somewhere in between a cake and a crisp. The only thing I would do differently next time would be to increase the rhubarb (I actually used rhubarb and strawberries). I found the layer of cake to be too much for the amount of fruit. Thanks for the great recipe!

                                        1. re: Hunicsz

                                          I'm so glad! You know, you're right, I think I usually use more - I actually usually just toss in however much my father gives me from his garden! I have done it with other fruits, too, and it works out well each time. It's great with pears, in particular.

                                        2. re: katecm

                                          Thanks for the recipe this was so good with ice cream and my gardens rhubarb.

                                        3. ahhh, rhubarb--what my aunts used to call "pie plant." because i grew up with this "pie bias," i didn't find my favorite rhubarb recipe for many years. ok, i still like a double-crust rhubarb pie with a few seasonal strawberries thrown in to tame the sourness. oh--a la mode, if you please.

                                          my current favorite is warm rhubarb sauce over home-made coconut ice cream. the sauce is really just cooked down pie plant with sugar and some candied ginger, plus an obligatory pinch of salt. the amount of sugar required can appear unseemly depending on the sourness inherent in the mess of rhubarb on hand.

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: silverhawk

                                            "warm rhubarb sauce over home-made coconut ice cream"----Wow!

                                          2. Rhubarb crumble. It's the dessert we always end up going back to.

                                            Although I had a great dessert in a restaurant in Brighton last week - yoghurt pannacotta with rhubarb and blood orange on the side. All very tangy.

                                            3 Replies
                                            1. re: Harters

                                              Crisp and crumble are essentially the same, right? I quickly googled and it seems to be the same deal except I don't use OJ in my crisp.

                                              Last week's dessert sounded lovely!

                                              1. re: kattyeyes

                                                I'm afraid I don't know what a "crisp" is.

                                                For "crumble", you'd put the fruit in a pie dish (apple & blackberry is our standard autumn version; rhubarb for spring). Then mix together butter, plain flour and soft brown sugar, as a topping. Then bake.

                                                We have ice cream with the rhubarb....custard with the apple.

                                                1. re: Harters

                                                  Pretty much the same - typical topping for a crisp is flour, butter, brown and/or white sugar, cinnamon, usually rolled oats, and sometimes chopped nuts.

                                              1. re: greygarious

                                                Nice links, greygarious. I've bookmarked 'em both. 10Q!