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Rhubarb 3 Ways (Beyond Pie)

Rhubarb-Lentine

If you thumb through one of your grandmother’s old cookbooks, you may come across a recipe for pie that refers to rhubarb as the “pie plant.” While tangy, grassy, bold rhubarb makes an exceptional springtime pie, it’s also a remarkable ingredient to weave into other meals to make them fresh, healthy and flavorful.

If you have a bumper crop of rhubarb on your hands, pluck the stems, trim away and discard the leaves. Then get chopping, shaving, roasting, stewing and baking these blush-colored stalks into all sorts of dishes where a little tang, zip or bold flavor and texture is desirable — starting with these three unexpected recipes.

Keep in mind that raw, fresh rhubarb has a much different texture than frozen and thawed rhubarb. We recommend using raw, fresh rhubarb for the salad and salsa recipes below. For the lemonade, because the rhubarb will be cooked to soften, it would be suitable to use frozen, thawed rhubarb instead.

Chicken Salad with Rhubarb

Rhubarb-Chicken-Salad

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 12 ounces cooked chicken, chopped
  • 1 cup rhubarb stalks, thinly sliced
  • 1/3 cup celery, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh tarragon leaves
  • 1/4 cup toasted almonds, chopped
  • Butter lettuce leaves, to serve

Directions

In a medium-sized bowl, combine the chopped chicken with the mayonnaise, mustard, salt, pepper, celery, rhubarb, tarragon leaves and almonds. Mix until the chicken is coated and the ingredients are combined. Cover the bowl and chill the salad, roughly 45 minutes. Serve on toasted bread with slices of butter lettuce or on top of a green salad.

Recipe makes 6 servings at 1/2 cup per serving.

Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 170; Total Fat: 13g; Saturated Fat: 4g; Monounsaturated Fat: 4g; Cholesterol: 4mg; Sodium: 188mg; Carbohydrate: 2g; Dietary Fiber: 1g; Sugar: 0g; Protein: 12g

Rhubarb and Pineapple Salsa

Rhubarb-Salsa

Ingredients

  • 2 cups (8 ounces by weight) fresh rhubarb, finely diced
  • 1 cup pineapple, finely diced fresh
  • 1/2 cup red onion, finely diced
  • Finely grated zest of 1 lime
  • Juice of two limes, roughly 1/4 cup
  • 1 serrano pepper, seeds removed and very finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
  • 1/4 cup quince jam
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 cup cilantro leaves, coarsely chopped

Directions

In a medium bowl, combine the rhubarb, pineapple, onion, serrano pepper and lime zest. In a small bowl, combine the quince jam and salt with lime juice to thin the jam. Pour the lime juice mixture over the rhubarb mixture and toss to coat, stirring to incorporate. Drizzle the olive oil over the salsa, top with cilantro and add to tacos, eat with tortilla chips or enjoy as a chunky, bright salad topping!

Recipe makes 6 servings at 1/2 cup per serving.

Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 74; Total Fat: 2g; Saturated Fat: 0g; Monounsaturated Fat: 2g; Cholesterol: 0mg; Sodium: 196mg; Carbohydrate: 13g; Dietary Fiber: 1g; Sugar: 10g; Protein: 1g

Rhubarb Lemonade

Rhubarb-Lemonade

Ingredients

  • 5 cups (roughly 1 1/4 pounds) fresh rhubarb, chopped
  • 1 cup unrefined sugar such as turbinado
  • Zest of one lemon, cut into wide strips with a vegetable peeler
  • 1/4 cup loosely packed fresh herb leaves such as mint, basil and lemon verbena
  • 1 cup freshly squeezed Meyer lemon juice
  • 2 cups sparkling water
  • Sprigs of mint, basil and lemon verbena, for garnish
  • Lemon slices, for garnish

Directions

In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, combine 4 cups of water with the rhubarb and sugar and bring to a boil, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Reduce the heat and simmer 20 minutes. Remove pan from the heat and stir in the lemon zest and herb leaves. Cover and let stand until cool (roughly 1 hour). Strain the liquid into a large glass jar or pitcher and discard the solids.

Stir the lemon juice and sparkling water into the rhubarb mixture, then cover and refrigerate until chilled. Serve the lemonade over ice, garnished with herb sprigs and lemon slices.

Recipe makes 8 servings at 1/2 cup per serving.

Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 113; Total Fat: 0g; Saturated Fat: 0g; Monounsaturated Fat: 0g; Cholesterol: 0mg; Sodium: 5mg; Carbohydrate: 30g; Dietary Fiber: 2g; Sugar: 26g; Protein: 1g

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