Wednesday, June 1, 2011


Rhubarb belongs to one of the frugalista's favourite categories of food: hard-to-kill perennial. That means that once you've planted it, you'll probably have some forevermore. No matter what you do to it, it just keeps coming back, year after year. Even if you don't have your own rhubarb patch, chances are someone close to you does - and is eager to get rid of some of their surplus. I planted rhubarb in my garden a couple of years ago, so it's still getting itself established. Luckily for me, my neighbour has a well-established patch that produces a bounteous crop every year (even during the exceptionally cold, wet spring we just experienced). So, yesterday afternoon, I had this much rhubarb to wrestle with:

Fortunately, rhubarb freezes exceptionally well, so my younger son and I got to work washing, chopping and bagging this mountain of free food.

Of course, that led me to start thinking about all the things I could do with that much rhubarb. I think it's an extremely undervalued food and lots of people don't really know what to do with it. Since it's one of the foods you're most likely to receive an armload of for free, I thought it must be time to do a roundup of some good rhubarb recipes!

Rhubarb Streusel Muffins are a staple food at our house.

I made this Rhubarb and Raspberry Crostata for my birthday dinner last weekend (I still had some of last year's rhubarb left in the freezer). It was a big hit and I think you could come up with a lot of variations from this basic recipe. The filling would be delicious served over ice cream or sponge cake instead of baking it in the crostata crust (for days when it's too hot to turn on the oven!)

I'm extremely fond of the classic strawberry-rhubarb combo, so I'm going to give this Strawberry Rhubarb Compote a try.

I came across a recipe for Roasted Rhubarb and was fascinated - it has never occurred to me to try roasting rhubarb. I saved a few juicy looking stalks to use in this recipe.

Rhubarb can even be used to make some tasty beverages - as soon as our local strawberries are available (in about 3 weeks or so) I'm going to be brewing up a batch of this Strawberry-Rhubarb Lemonade (scroll down to the bottom of the page to find the recipe).

I have yet to find a recipe for Strawberry Rhubarb Jam that I'm happy with, so if you happen to have a tried-and-true one, I would be thrilled if you would pass it along (I'm looking for a cooked jam that can be canned, not a freezer jam).

Do you have a favourite rhubarb recipe? If so, please share it with us below!

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