Rhubarb Mania: Catch the Fever

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

Source: Mamas Minutia


Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

Source: Liquid Fence


Rhubarb Streusel Cake

Source: My Baking Addiction



Rhubarb Compote

Source: Simple Bites



Roasted Rhubarb Limeade

Source: Kitchen Butterfly



Rhubarb & Wine Barbecue Sauce

Source: Food52

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?


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3 Responses to “Rhubarb Mania: Catch the Fever”

  1. May 11, 2011 at 11:10 am #

    I had a little talk with my rhubard this morning and told it to “grow, grow, we have rhubarb cosmopolitans to be made!”

    All joking aside, I’m pretty excited to use rhubard this year. It has been growing in my garden for years and I’ve NEVER used it! Time to jump on the rhubarb bandwagon and not let it go to waste :-)


  2. May 11, 2011 at 11:59 am #

    What about growing it in Texas where the summers are severly hot… 100 degrees or more for days and sometimes weeks. I tried once and failed however we all know that does not make for a very scientific experiment!

  3. Marsha
    May 12, 2011 at 9:48 am #

    My rhubarb is in its third season. For some reason the stalks do not turn red except maybe 4 inches from crown. Is there something I should/could do to help this out? I thought maybe it is lacking some nutrient. Help please!!

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