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Rhubarb is the edible stalk portion of the rhubarb plant. The stalks average 20 to 40 centimeters long, and range in color from light pink to ruby red, or even shades of yellow or green. The appearance and texture of Rhubarb are comparable to that of celery, while the flavor is tart and astringent, hence it is often cooked down with sugar to make the flavor more palatable. Only the stalks of the rhubarb plant are edible. Rhubarb is traditionally cultivated in two ways: field or hothouse grown. Field-grown rhubarb typically has dark red stalks and green leaves, while hothouse rhubarb produces pink or light red stalks with yellow leaves.
Rhubarb is used in cooked applications, and although it may be prepared as a vegetable, it is more often featured in sweet recipes like pies, and jams, and is commonly paired with strawberries. Slice Rhubarb as you would celery and cook down with sugar into a chutney, or toss with apples or strawberries, sugar, and spices, and bake into a pie or crisp. Cooked and sweetened Rhubarb can also be combined with orange zest and mixed into softened butter to make a spread. Rhubarb may be used in soups, stews, or other savory dishes where its naturally tart flavor counterbalances other rich or sweet ingredients.
Arrange rhubarb stalks on a large piece of foil. Loosely, yet snuggly, wrap foil around rhubarb stalks, gently crimping the ends (you don't want it air-tight) and place in the refrigerator until needed. Rhubarb should keep this way for at least a month, sometimes longer.
Rhubarb Custard Pie
4 eggs, room temperature
1/2 cup melted butter
1/2 cup flour
1 3/4 cups milk
1 1/4 cups sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
2 1/2 cups chopped rhubarb