When the first stalks of the season start sprouting, it’s difficult to think of anything other than strawberry rhubarb pie. However, there is SO much more that can be done with this vegetable.
Let’s start with some basic ideas to quickly preserve a large bounty.
- Freeze drying is always my favorite way to preserve the nutrients in your bounty
- Chopped and frozen (portion into ziplocs for your favorite recipes)
- Make and can rhubarb pie filling for easy pies, crumbles, crisps and cobblers later on
- Boil and blend with strawberries for a fun applesauce
- Fruit leathers in the dehydrator
- Make a juice or punch and can or freeze for later
- Make a jam or butter
There are also many other options if you have a bit more time on your hands or are looking for a more unique preserving opportunity.
- It’s not just for lemons anymore, make a rhubarb curd
- Ice cream or sorbet
- Baked goods like bread, cobbler, slump, coffee cake, upside down cake, cookies, or even fried pies…. the possibilities are endless
- Shrub for your next cocktail (or mocktail) party
- Chilled soup
- Vegetable soup
- Rhubarb salad
The most popular thing to do, aside from pie, is to make a sauce, so I’m making it a category all by itself.
- Make and can rhubarb sauce for pancakes and french toast. Omit the strawberries and add oodles of cinnamon, or you can mix it up by using some different flavors in the section below
- Savory rhubarb sauce over chicken or turkey (I’ll be posting my recipe soon!)
- Rhubarb date chutney
- BBQ sauce
If you are looking for something on a smaller scale or tonight’s dinner or dessert, there are many options.
For the adults in your life, try these boozy treats!
If you’ve grown tired of strawberry or cinnamon, spice up your favorite stand-by recipes with these less common accompanying flavors.
- Cream cheese
- Rose (be careful not to overdo it!)
Did you get these from your garden? If so, check out these ideas for using other parts of the plant.
- Use the roots to tan animal hides naturally
- Roots are also medicinal
- Leaves make a great weed barrier or mulch in the garden
- From stepping stones to bird baths to clay dishes, the leaves are great to use in a variety of art projects
- Rhubarb leaf insecticide
- Boil the leaves for 30 minutes and strain to create a natural, mild version of Bar Keepers Friend
- Create natural dyes from the leaves or roots
Once you’ve used all you can, make sure to add scraps to your compost bin to keep your garden producing the bounties that we love to consume in so many different ways!