Rhubarb Recipes Rediscovered

Satisfyingly sweet and savoury!
a bunch of fresh rhubarb on a cutting board
Anna Shepulova/Shutterstock.com

Rhubarb is one of the first crops to harvest during the growing season. Its tart-like qualities make it very versatile to cook with and often stars in both sweet and savory dishes like these recipes for rhubarb stew and rhubarb crumble.

Rhubarb is an edible herbaceous perennial plant. Although it is considered a vegetable it is often prepared like fruit. It produces large leaves that appear triangular with long fleshy stalks, often very easy to spot in the yard or garden. Enjoy some of the first tastes of spring! 

Be warned! The ingestion of rhubarb leaves can cause oxalic acid poisoning.

Rhubarb Stew

Ingredients: Serves 6

  • 2 onions, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1-pound fresh rhubarb, stems removed and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1-pound lamb, grass-fed stewing meat 
  • 3 cups parsley, chopped
  • ½ cup fresh mint, chopped
  • 2 ½ cups of lamb broth
  • ¼ cup oil (avocado has high a high smoke temperature)
  • ¼ tsp. ground saffron dissolved in 1 tbsp. hot water
  • 1 tbsp. tomato paste
  • 2 tbsp. fresh lime juice
  • 1 ½ tsp. salt
  • ¼ tsp. ground pepper
  • ¼ tsp. ground turmeric

Directions

  1. In an ovenproof Dutch oven, sear the meat in oil on all sides over medium high heat. Make sure to avoid crowding the pan and sear in batches if necessary. Set aside. Sauté onions in the same pot until soft, sweet and caramelized (add water to steam onions as it dries out). Return seared meat to the pot and add salt, pepper and turmeric. Pour in broth and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cover for about an hour. 
  2. Add parsley, mint, saffron water, tomato paste, and lime juice to the pot. Cover and simmer for an additional hour over low heat.
  3. Preheat oven to 350F. Arrange the rhubarb on the top of the stew and cover. Cook for 30 minutes or until the rhubarb is tender. Avoid over cooking or the rhubarb will fall apart. 
  4. Adjust the seasoning. If the stew is sour, add 1 tablespoon of honey.
  5. Serve on a bed of rice with some fresh herbs or salad.

Rhubarb Crumble

Ingredients: Serves 6

For the crumble: 

  • 1-cup plain flour (can substitute for any kind of flour)
  • 1-cup oats
  • 1-cup brown sugar
  • 200g cold butter, cut into pieces

For the filling:

  • 4 rhubarb stalks, cut into chunks
  • 1 tbsp. plain all purpose flour (can substitute for any kind of flour)
  • 1/3-cup brown sugar
  • ½ lemon juice

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375F.
  2. Place the flour, oat flakes, brown sugar and butter in a large bowl. Using your fingertips, rub all the ingredients together until it resembles chunky breadcrumbs.
  3. In a large baking tin, toss the rhubarb with the flour, sugar and lemon juice until combined. Add the crumble mix on top of the filling and spread over the top until everything is evenly covered.
  4. Bake in the oven for 35-40 minutes or until the crumble topping is golden brown and the fruit is soft and bubbling beneath. Serve in generous portions with a drizzle of fresh cream.