Crisp and mouth-puckeringly tart, rhubarb is a vegetable (not a fruit) with celery-like stalks. It’s most often used in pies
Season: March through October; peaks April through June.
How to Choose Rhubarb
Look for thick, firm stalks with glossy, bright fuchsia skin. If any leaves are still attached, they should be pert and ruffled—not limp. If the leaves have been removed, check to make sure the cut ends are not soft or spongy and show no signs of decay. (Before you store or cook rhubarb, remove the leaves. They contain oxalic acid, which is toxic in large quantities.)
How to Store Rhubarb
Wrap your bunch in a damp paper towel, then place it in a sealed plastic bag and refrigerate for up to 5 days; use it before the stalks become soft.
How to Prepare Rhubarb
Just before using, wash the stalks and remove the leaves (they contain oxalic acid, which is toxic if eaten in large quantities). If you’ve got a tough bunch, you can peel them with a paring knife or a vegetable peeler.
How to Use Rhubarb
Rhubarb is quite tart and is best cooked with sugar in sauces or compotes or used as a filling in pies, crisps, or cobblers. It is lovely paired with the sweetness of strawberries or raspberries.
Real Simple Rhubarb Recipes:
- Rhubarb Conserve and Pound Cake With Whipped Cream
- Pork Chops With Tangy Rhubarb Chutney
- Vanilla Ice Cream With Strawberry-Rhubarb Sauce
- Beth Howard’s Double-Crust Rhubarb Pie
- Raspberry-Rhubarb Tart
Fruits and vegetables at their peak right now.
Find out what's in season in your area right now, then locate a farmers' market near you.