I've been working in the garden today and put down some weed blocker fabric around my rhubarb. I LOVE rhubarb and I've noticed that it is generally a northern dish... Most southerners (in my experience) are not familiar with it, or have not heard of it before. So, a little education: Rhubarb is a vegetable but is almost entirely eaten as dessert. You can make pies, bars, cakes, jams, sauces and more with it! It looks very similar to a celery stalk and grows in bunches with BIG leafy leaves (I mean BIG LEAFY leaves!). Leaves are poisonous so don't eat them, and you can actually make a natural bug killer with the leaves, which I have done before. It is very tart when eaten raw and most of the desserts call for lots of sugars or combine with sweet fruits for taste. I can eat it straight (but not with a straight face!), since I grew up on it (show-off!) and I have been making rhubarb pies since I was 10 or so. The stalks are red or green and there are slight taste differences, but it's ALL good!
If you can grow some in your area (they don't tolerate heat well), try it! Plant it once and they come back year after year, bigger and thicker than the year before. Be sure to plant it in a spot that gets 1/2 sun and 1/2 shade, that's what works for me, and be sure it is in a permanent location, since they are a struggle to dig up and move, which is what I did when we sold our old house and moved here. I dug up all 20 of my plants and brought 'em with me! 16 plants survived the move and this year they are growing like they are on steroids! ack! I think I'll have to take some to the farmer's market to sell what I cannot use. Too good to go to waste and Hubby doesn't really care for it (he's a chocolate freak) so I get to eat the whole pie (yum! but wreaks havoc on the old diet). They also freeze well, and I like to freeze in 4-cup sizes, since that's what most rhubarb pie recipes call for.
Anyway, here's a couple of recipes that are reallllllllllly good!! Take my word for it-- YUM!!!
-2 2/3 tbsp milk
-2 c. sugar
-2 tbsp all-purpose flour
- 3/4 tsp nutmeg
-1 tbsp cinnamon (you can use less if you want, I really like cinnamon and always add lots more than the recipe calls for)
- 4 c. cut rhubarb (chopped in 1/2 inch pieces)
-1/2 c. blueberries
-2 unbaked deep dish pie crusts (I used to make my own, but with 3 little ones....I buy frozen crusts now)
Beat 3 eggs and milk. Mix in sugar, flour, nutmeg and cinnamon. Stir in rhubarb and blueberries. Pour into 1 pie crust. Take 2nd pie crust and remove from pan and place on top of filled pie, flute edges to seal. For a flaky crust, sprinkle a little milk on top and spread with your fingers to cover surface of pie, then sprinkle cinnamon and sugar on top. Cut a slit in the top to vent. Bake 50 to 60 minutes in a 400* oven.
RHUBARB DREAM BARS
Crust: -1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
- 2/3 c. powdered sugar
- 3/4 c. softened butter
Mix all 3 ingredients and press into bottom of 9x13 cake pan. Bake at 350* for 15 minutes.
Filling: -4 eggs
- 2 c. sugar
- 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1/2 tsp salt
-3 c. rhubarb, chopped (for a variation, you can substitute 1 cup of rhubarb for 1 cup of chopped strawberries)
- 1 tsp cinnamon
While crust is baking, mix together all ingredients. After crust is done, pour filling onto crust (while hot) and spread lightly to make sure filling is even. Bake 35 minutes.
Try these and let me know how you like them!! I'll post other recipes from time to time. Enjoy!