Sunday, July 19, 2009

What to do with rhubarb

One thing about joining a CSA is that at some point you're likely to get something you haven't had before or that you aren't quite sure what to do with. Rhubarb was both of those for me. That's right, I was a rhubarb virgin. But the first time we got rhubarb in our CSA share, a stroke of good fortune arrived around the same time in the form of a Penzey's spice catalog. In this catalog was a recipe for Strawberry Rhubarb Crunch submitted by someone named Iona Keppler. It was fabulous and I hope she and Penzey's don't mind if I share the recipe here (veganized by using Earth Balance margarine instead of butter):

1 c. flour
1 c. packed brown sugar
3/4 c. rolled oats
1/2 c. Earth Balance, melted
2/3 c. sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
2 c. diced rhubarb
2 c. strawberries, sliced
1 c. water
2 Tbs. cornstarch
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350°. Combine flour, sugar, brown sugar, oats, Earth Balance and cinnamon in a large bowl and mix until crumbly. Press half this mixture into a greased 9 x 13 inch baking dish. Cover with the rhubarb and strawberries. In a small saucepan, heat the water, cornstarch and vanilla over medium heat, stirring frequently, until thick. Pour over the rhubarb and strawberries, top with the remaining crumb mixture and bake for 1 hour.

The next time we got rhubarb I wanted to do something else with it so I started poking around my cookbook collection. I found a recipe for basic stewed rhubarb in Deborah Madison's Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone and adapted it thusly:

1 lb. rhubarb, diced
1/4 c. agave
1/2 tsp. lemon extract
insides of 1 vanilla bean (or 1 tsp. vanilla extract)

Simply cook all of this in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring frequently, until rhubarb gets soft. This would be great over vanilla ice cream, or you can do what we did and store it in the fridge, then have a bit in your breakfast oatmeal each day for a few days.


Snowbell said...

I love the combination of rhubarb and strawberries! This recipe looks yummi

Bianca said...

I'm a rhubarb virgin too. I've eaten it in pies that other people have made, but I've never cooked with it. It does go quite well with strawberries though.

Zabeena said...

Everything you ever wanted to know about rhubarb, and more, with lots of recipes:

I've blogged on rhubarb (

vegoam said...

I've always been clueless with rhubarb, but that looks delicious! I always buy strawberry/rhubarb jam from the farmer's market, so I'm excited to mix those two. Neat!

Eat Vegetarian said...

Yumm...looks delicious...can't wait to try it!!!

meena meena said...

with my parents being from the midwest, ive been a mayjah rhubarb fan all of my life, despite being raised in a climate that wasnt especilly rhubarb friendly. ive totally forgotten, though, that i havent had any rhubarb all year! ill ask my farmer's market farmers when the crop will be due, and ill use this recipe probably. thanks for the inspiration!