There are few things that make me more excited than when the first stalks of rhubarb begin to show up in stores. They are a bright red beacon that the winter months dominated by kale, potatoes, and squash are coming to an end. I love rhubarb so much that a few years ago when I bought my house I planted three rhubarb plants. The first year you’re not supposed to harvest any (torture, I tell you!) and the second year they were still pretty small – yielding only a few dishes. This year however is a different story – the unusually warm Seattle winter meant that they started coming up in early February and are already going gang-busters! Given my personal obsession I was shocked recently when I began to find out that many people I know either had never heard of rhubarb or don’t cook with it.
Ok, ok maybe its a little strange, but the tangy sweetness is the perfect way to welcome spring, and if you’ve never tried it I strongly encourage you to do so. You can find it in the refrigerated vegetable section of most grocery stores or at your local farmers market. If you live in an older neighborhood chances are that you have a couple neighbors with more than they know what to do with.
Strawberry Rhubarb Pie is the always popular gateway drug to rhubarb, but I wanted to share another rhubarb desert that I think you’ll love – Rhubarb Pudding Cake. (Add it to your personal recipe library on Gatheredtable to see it in one of your future weekly menus.)
p.s. If you’d like try rhubarb in a more savory main dish, I suggest our recipe for Pork Loin in Rhubarb Sauce. Even the most ardent rhubarb fans are sometimes skeptical of using it in a savory dish. I will admit that even I had never tried it until last year, and wow baby is it good! The richness of this delicious and simple pork loin is the perfect compliment to the tangy rhubarb.