As the old song goes, “Life is like a bowl of rhubarb, you never know what you’re gonna get.” But when you make rhubarb a part of your life, you can get deliciousness! With a little know-how, rhubarb can be transformed into a sweet and tart treat that will please the whole family.
Whether you’re baking a rhubarb pie or making a rhubarb jam, starting with the right ingredients is key. To get the best flavor and texture, it’s important to choose young, firm, and bright-colored stalks. Avoid any that are limp, bruised, or wilted. Rhubarb can be found at most grocery stores in the spring and summer, as well as farmers markets and specialty produce stores.
Step 1: Prep the Rhubarb
Once you’ve selected the best rhubarb, it’s time to prepare it for cooking. Start by washing the stalks in cool water and trimming off any wilted or browned ends. Cut the stalks into 1-inch pieces and discard the leaves, as they are toxic.
Step 2: Sweeten the Rhubarb
Rhubarb can be quite tart, so it’s important to add some sweetness to balance out the flavor. The amount of sugar you use will depend on the recipe you’re making, but generally speaking, you should use at least ½ cup of sugar for every 4 cups of rhubarb. Granulated sugar, brown sugar, and honey are all good options.
Step 3: Cook the Rhubarb
Now it’s time to get cooking! Rhubarb can be cooked in a variety of ways, depending on the recipe. For a basic rhubarb compote, simply combine the rhubarb and sugar in a saucepan and heat over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until the rhubarb is tender and the sugar is dissolved. For a more flavorful compote, add a splash of orange juice or lemon juice and a pinch of ground ginger.
Step 4: Bake or Simmer
If you’re baking with rhubarb, preheat the oven to 350°F. Place the prepared rhubarb in a baking dish and top with butter, sugar, and spices, such as cinnamon, nutmeg, or cloves. Bake for 20-30 minutes, or until the fruit is tender.
If you’d like to simmer the rhubarb, combine it with a liquid, such as water, orange juice, or apple juice. Add spices, such as cinnamon, nutmeg, or allspice, and simmer over medium-low heat for 10-15 minutes, or until the rhubarb is tender.
Step 5: Enjoy!
Now it’s time to enjoy the fruits of your labor! Rhubarb can be served hot or cold, depending on the recipe. It’s delicious served with vanilla ice cream, whipped cream, or a dollop of Greek yogurt. It can also be added to smoothies, oatmeal, pancakes, or muffins for a sweet and tart flavor.
Table: Different Ways To Cook Rhubarb
|Roasting||Toss diced rhubarb with a bit of oil and sugar, then spread in a single layer on a baking sheet. Roast in a preheated oven at 400°F for 15 minutes, or until the rhubarb is tender.|
|Grilling||Cut rhubarb into 1-inch pieces and brush lightly with oil. Grill over medium-high heat for 2-3 minutes per side, or until the rhubarb is tender.|
|Stir-Frying||Dice the rhubarb and heat a bit of oil in a wok or large skillet. Add the rhubarb and stir-fry for 2-3 minutes, or until the rhubarb is tender.|
Cooking rhubarb is a great way to bring out its unique flavor and add a sweet and tart element to any dish. With a little know-how, you can easily transform rhubarb into a delicious treat. So the next time you’re in the kitchen, think outside the box and try cooking with rhubarb! As the song goes, “Life is like a bowl of rhubarb, it’s always a surprise.” And with this guide, you can make that surprise a sweet one.