While rhubarb is actually a vegetable, it’s often treated as a fruit and used in many dessert recipes.
Rhubarb is not sold by variety.
Choose rhubarb with long, firm, brightly coloured red stalks.
Tightly wrap rhubarb stalks in plastic and store in the fridge for up to four days.
Remove and discard the leaves (they should not be eaten since they can be poisonous). Wash the stalks, trim any white roots and chop the red stalk into pieces before cooking. Rhubarb isn’t usually eaten raw – it’s best when poached, baked or stewed. You may need to add a little sugar during cooking as it contains little natural sugar and can taste tart.
4 quick ways with rhubarb
Serve poached rhubarb with low-fat Greek yoghurt. Heat 2 cups red wine, 1/2 cup sugar, 1 tablespoon honey, a cinnamon stick and 2 whole cloves over medium heat. Add 450g chopped rhubarb (in batches) to pan and cook until tender. Remove from pan and continue cooking sauce until it reduces slightly. Pour sauce over rhubarb and yoghurt.
Tart rhubarb adds great flavour to lentil soup. Spray a saucepan with oil and sauté 2 cups each finely chopped carrots and celery and 1 1/2 cups chopped onion for 3 minutes. Add 2 cups chopped rhubarb and cook for a further 3 minutes. Add 1/2 tin lentils and 1/4 cup chopped parsley to pan. Stir in 2 cups reduced-salt vegetable stock and 2 cups water. Bring to the boil, reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 20 minutes. Cool slightly, then blend in a food processor.
Make your favourite cake and muffin recipes healthier by replacing half the butter with stewed rhubarb.
Try this quick and easy low-kJ dessert. Place 400g chopped rhubarb into a bowl with the zest of 1/2 an orange, the juice from the whole orange and 3 tablespoons sugar. Split 2 vanilla beans and scrape the seeds into the bowl. Add the vanilla pods and stir to combine. Transfer mixture to a baking dish, making sure the rhubarb lies flat, and bake for 15–20 minutes at 150°C. Remove and discard the vanilla pods and serve rhubarb with vanilla Frûche or low-fat custard.
Did you know? Rhubarb is a source of fibre and vitamin C.