How to Cook Rhubarb

Rhubarb is a bitter tasting vegetable most commonly cooked as a dessert or with pies. It is similar to celery, but, has a deep green to bright red color, depending on the variety.

Rhubarb may be eaten raw, but as it is too tart, it is better cooked with sugar. The basic way of cooking it is by stewing, as compote, or baked in sugar. It is also a good addition to savory dishes like lamb.


Buying Rhubarb


When buying rhubarb, always look for fresh ones with crisp leaves and without blemishes. Avoid fibrous and dry rhubarb because it is too mature. Be aware that the leaves of the rhubarb are poisonous. Eating them can cause mild to severe food poisoning that may lead to death. It is safer to handle the leaves by hand, so just rip them off and throw them away.


Preparing Rhubarb


Remove the leaves of the rhubarb. Wash the stalks with water and trim the ends. Peel off any coarse fibers, then cut into small pieces.


Rhubarb Compote


You will need 1 pound rhubarb diced or cut into strips, fine sugar, and water or orange juice.


Steps in Cooking


1. Combine the rhubarb with sugar and water in a deep saucepan. Use ¼ cup of sugar and liquid per 1 pound rhubarb. Cover with a lid.

2. Cook at low heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

3. Taste it and add sugar if necessary. It should be mushy and syrupy when done.

4. Remove the rhubarb from heat and cool for at least 2 hours.


Baked Rhubarb


You will need 1 pound rhubarb diced or cut into strips, and water.


Steps in Cooking


1. Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (180 degrees Celsius)

2. In a baking pan, mix a pound of rhubarb with ½ cup of fine sugar.

3. Bake for 25-30 minutes until tender. Add more sugar if desired.


Tips in Cooking Rhubarb


1. Always remember not to eat the rhubarb leaves, may they be raw or cooked.

2. Instead of sugar, you may substitute with honey or syrups for better tasting rhubarb.

3. Citrus ingredients like orange or even honey help in maintaining the red color of the rhubarb.