DIY Food

Sweet and Savory Ways to Use Rhubarb

April 26, 2014

There are so many great conversations on the Hotline -- it's hard to choose a favorite. But we'll be doing it, once a week, to spread the wealth of our community's knowledge -- and to keep the conversation going. 

Today: It's time to expand your number of go-to rhubarb recipes.

How to Use Rhubarb, from Food52

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When spring finally decides to really and truly arrive, after making us wait longer than seems fair, we all like to celebrate with our favorite types of emerging produce. Beautiful green things like peas, asparagus, and fiddleheads get a lot of the spring vegetable glory, but rhubarb is a herald of spring too -- its blushing stalks announce that warmer weather is here to stay. 

First We Eat is excited that rhubarb season has arrived, and after already whipping up a sauce and a pie, asked for more fun ways to use rhubarb, and the community answered:

How to Use Rhubarb, from Food52


  • Pegeen likes to make roasted rhubarb and strawberries, saying that the recipe is “delicious and about as easy as it gets,” and points to the recipe comments for additional good ideas for using it.
  • Petitbleu just tried Thomas Keller's rhubarb brown butter tart recipe, and dubbed it "stellar." "It's time-consuming, but the process is really cool. He has you cure the rhubarb in sugar and grenadine until it softens -- this way, the rhubarb releases some water and gets slightly softer, but still retains a great texture." She's also a fan of rhubarb compote with golden raisins and toasted almonds, roasted rhubarb with ginger and orange zest, and the classic, strawberry rhubarb pie.
  • Butter, sugar, flowers suggests rhubarb rum sandwich cakes (like whoopie pies), and notes that you can easily double the amount of rhubarb. 
  • Dinner at ten is a fan of the rhubarb snacking cake from Deb at Smitten Kitchen.
  • SeaJambon can’t resist rhubarb jelly: “It has all the lovely flavor of rhubarb and is a very pretty color.”
  • A few years ago in Sweden, greenstuff had an eye-opening dessert: "Rhubarb that was thinly sliced and only cooked the slightest bit in a cardamom sugar syrup. It was still crunchy! I later found a similar recipe in Tina Nordström's book, A Culinary Tour of Sweden."
  • Jacksonholefoodie has a wild patch of rhubarb in her front yard that gets used to make a simple syrup of rhubarb destined for rhubarb margaritas. 

How to Use Rhubarb, from Food52


  • Maedl recommends the Persian rhubarb khoresh found in Najmieh Batmangli’s book, Food of Life, as well as her own rhubarb scrambled eggs (Intrigued? Learn more about her method here.)
  • Try rhubarb baked beans, as inpatskitchen recommends.
  • Greenstuff finds that rhubarb goes quite well with chicken and rabbit too. Her method: “Cut it into pieces, slather it with mustard, roast until the meat starts to brown, then add rhubarb, white wine, and cream.”  

What are your favorite ways to use rhubarb? Tell us in the comments!

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • Soheyl
  • sil entre jardins
    sil entre jardins
  • rachaelmr
  • hannah
  • BoulderGalinTokyo
I like esoteric facts about vegetables. Author of the IACP Award-nominated cookbook, Cooking with Scraps.


Soheyl August 1, 2014
Pressure cook rhubarbs in little water...three whistles..strain the rhubarbs...keep the water aside to be used as stock...add salt as per taste to the stock...take some sour buttermilk, chickpea flour, egg, salt to taste ,red chili powder, black pepper powder...whisk them together to make a batter...soak the rhubarbs in garam masala paste, with a tablespoon of lime juice...then coat the rhubarbs with the batter and deep fry them...take the left over garam masala and lemon juice paste and the rhubarb stock and add fried onions to it and bring to a boil and then let it simmer over a low flame...add the deep fried rhubarbs to the simmering stock...keep checking the taste as the gravy is reducing and then serve hot with basmati rice cooked in clarified butter
sil E. April 30, 2014
I've been on a Rhubarb Breakfast Parfait kick lately
and have also been adding some thinly sliced raw rhubarb in my beet salads. delish!
rachaelmr April 28, 2014
We do some hot rhubarb on ice cream and I make a nice rhubarb/mango crisp but that rabbit & rhubarb or baked beans with rhubarb is very intriguing!
hannah April 28, 2014
Last night I made Mark Bittman's simplest dal (from How To Cook Everything) with rhubarb added in. It was amazing!
BoulderGalinTokyo April 28, 2014
Wonderful, wonderful explosion of flavors! rhubarb pickles in a salad by SippetySup.
Daan F. April 28, 2014
Thanks Koen Elbers! We hope our Rabarcello reaches the US soon, since we already are getting quite some requests from your side of the Atlantic. A nice American review of our Dutch Spirit can be found here: Cheers, Daan (Mister Kitchen's Rabarcello)
Koen E. April 27, 2014
You know limoncello, right? Well check this rhubarb version! @misterkitchens
Ann M. April 27, 2014
Soda, boil rhubarb with the sugar of your choice then strain and use concentrate to make soda. refreshing like lemonade.
lapadia April 27, 2014
Rhubarb and Spring Greens!
Devangi R. April 26, 2014

Other ways to enjoy rhubarb - Honey Roasted rhubarb with yogurt with nuts.