Rhubarb, a perennial vegetable, is often used in sweet dishes, such as pies and crisp, due to its tart and tangy flavor. However, rhubarb can also be cooked and enjoyed in savory dishes, such as in sauces and chutneys. If you’re new to cooking with rhubarb, you might be wondering how to prepare and cook this unique vegetable. In this article, we’ll walk you through how to cook rhubarb and answers to frequently asked questions about rhubarb.
How to Prepare Rhubarb:
First, you need to choose the right rhubarb stalks. Look for thick and firm stalks that are bright red or pink in color. Avoid any stalks that are wilted or soft, as they are likely past their prime.
Before cooking, you need to clean and trim the rhubarb. Rinse the stalks under cold water to remove any dirt or debris. Then, using a sharp knife, trim off the ends and any leaves. Rhubarb leaves contain oxalic acid, which can be toxic, so it’s important to remove them before cooking.
How to Cook Rhubarb:
Rhubarb can be cooked in a variety of ways, including boiling, baking, roasting, and grilling. Here are three easy ways to cook rhubarb:
1. Stewed Rhubarb:
This is a classic way to cook rhubarb and is perfect for making rhubarb sauce or adding to yogurt or porridge. To make stewed rhubarb, you will need:
– 500g rhubarb
– 100g sugar
– A splash of water
Cut the rhubarb into 2-inch pieces and place them in a saucepan with the sugar and a splash of water. Heat the mixture over medium heat and stir until the sugar dissolves. Lower the heat to a simmer and cook the rhubarb until it softens, which should take around 10-15 minutes. You can add more sugar if needed, depending on your tastes.
2. Grilled Rhubarb:
Grilled rhubarb is an excellent addition to salads or used as a side dish with roast pork or chicken. To grill rhubarb, you will need:
– 500g rhubarb
– 2 tbsp honey
– 2 tbsp olive oil
Slice the rhubarb into 1-inch pieces, brush with honey and olive oil. Preheat a grill or grill pan over medium heat. Place the rhubarb slices on the grill and cook for 3-4 minutes on each side until the rhubarb is slightly charred and soft.
3. Roasted Rhubarb:
Roasting rhubarb is another delicious way to enjoy this vegetable. Roasted rhubarb is perfect for adding to breakfast bowls or as a topping for ice cream. To roast rhubarb, you will need:
– 500g rhubarb
– 50g sugar
– Juice from half a lemon
Preheat your oven to 200°C. Cut the rhubarb into 2-inch pieces and place them on a baking tray. Sprinkle with sugar and lemon juice. Roast in the oven for around 15-20 minutes until the rhubarb has softened and caramelized.
1. Is Rhubarb poisonous?
While rhubarb leaves contain high levels of oxalic acid, which can be toxic, the stalks are safe to eat. Always discard the leaves and only eat the stalks. If you have any concerns about eating rhubarb, it’s best to speak with your doctor or a qualified health practitioner.
2. Can you eat raw rhubarb?
Although rhubarb can be eaten raw, it is very tart and acidic. It’s best to cook rhubarb to soften and sweeten it. If you want to try raw rhubarb, try pairing it with other sweet and tangy flavors, such as strawberries or apples.
3. Can you freeze rhubarb?
Yes, you can freeze rhubarb. To freeze rhubarb, clean and trim the stalks, cut them into small pieces, and place them in a ziplock bag. Ensure the bag is sealed securely and freeze for up to six months. Frozen rhubarb is perfect for pies, crumbles, and sauces.
In conclusion, cooking with rhubarb is easy and versatile. Whether you’re making a sweet or savory dish, it’s important to prepare and cook rhubarb correctly. By following the tips and recipes in this article, you can enjoy the unique flavor of rhubarb in a variety of dishes.