The return of rhubarb is always a welcome sign of spring. Though often used in desserts, rhubarb is indeed a vegetable. The leaves are toxic, but the stalks are tart and delicious. Rhubarb is high in vitamins A and C, as well as minerals such as calcium.




Store rhubarb refrigerated in a plastic bag or the crisper drawer for a week. Stems will soften if they dehydrate. Rhubarb can also be frozen for longer-term storage – simply chop, put in a freezer bag, and stick in the freezer.


General Tips 

Some people enjoy eating rhubarb raw, though it will be tart. More frequently some sugar is added and it is cooked down into a sauce or pie/crisp.


Rhubarb Sauce

1 lb. rhubarb

½ cup water

½-¾ cup sugar

Ground cinnamon and/or vanilla extract (optional)

In a pot, heat water and sugar to boiling, stirring occasionally.  Add rhubarb and reduce heat to a simmer.  Continue to simmer for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until rhubarb becomes tender. Add cinnamon and/or vanilla, if using.  Serve warm over ice cream or cake, or in hand pies or stuffed French toast with cream cheese.


Rhubarb Crunch

3 cups rhubarb, diced

1 cup white sugar

3 T all-purpose flour + 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour

1 cup packed light brown sugar

1 cup quick cooking oats

1 cup butter

Preheat oven to 375°F and lightly grease a 9”x13” baking dish.  Combine rhubarb, white sugar, and 3 T flour in a large bowl.  Spread evenly into baking dish.  Next, combine brown sugar, oats, and 1 ½ cups flour in a mixing bowl. Stir well and add butter until mixture is crumbly; sprinkle over rhubarb layer.  Bake for 40 minutes.


Rhubarb Syrup

1 lb. rhubarb stalks, coarsely chopped

1 ½ cups sugar

Combine rhubarb with 2 cups water in a pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer until rhubarb is soft enough to be mashed with a spoon (about 15 minutes). Place a sieve or colander over a large bowl; strain rhubarb and let drip undisturbed (if you push the rhubarb down they syrup could become cloudy). Discard solids, return liquid to pot, add sugar, and bring to a boil while skimming any foam that appears on the top. Pour into a jar or pitcher, and store in the fridge. Enjoy by adding syrup to club soda for a refreshing flavored soda (and gin or vodka to make into a cocktail), or drizzle over cut melon to brighten flavors.