I don’t know about you but I have seen a bit of a trend in recent weeks. – Rhubarb! It’s everywhere I look. My rhubarb isn’t ready for picking yet but I like to be prepared so I have been collecting up rhubarb care tips, recipes and more.
Rhubarb is a great spring vegetable that is often used in desserts, but is excellent in a lot more than just pie. This perennial is very easy to grow and hardy. In fact, at my last 2 homes the only thing growing in the garden when we moved in was rhubarb. Seems once you plant it you have it forever.
There are however, a few things you can do that will garner you a fantastic crop each spring. Plant your rhubarb crowns in a location where they will receive partial shade if living in warmer climates. In cooler climates you will want to plant in full sun. Rhubarb has deep roots so you will also want to make sure to plant in deep, well-draining, loose soil.
It will take about 3 years before you can harvest a full crop. The first year cut none and the second year just take a few of the larger stalks. In the early spring each year you will want to fertilize with compost or bone meal for a boost of nutrients.
Before you know it you will have lots of beautiful red stalks to cook with. (Just remember to never eat the foliage, it’s poisonous.) If you have a bumper crop don’t worry about spoilage, rhubarb freezes great. Blanche cleaned and cut rhubarb and seal in freezer safe containers. In January you will still be enjoying any of a hundred different delicious rhubarb dishes.
Here are a few classics and a few new recipe ideas for rhubarb that have recently caught my eye. (Click the image for full recipe and instructions)
Rhubarb Cream Pie
Strawberry Rhubarb Pie
Rhubarb Streusel Cake
Roasted Rhubarb Limeade
Rhubarb & Wine Barbecue Sauce
This year, with all these great recipes, I will have no shortage of uses for all my lovely rhubarb. Now I just have to wait for the harvest.
What is your favorite way to prepare rhubarb?