This rosy-hued stalk is one of our favorite spring ingredients. Tart and tangy, it brightens the flavors of seasonal fruit when paired in desserts (there's a reason strawberry and rhubarb is a classic combination) and has a welcome sour note that plays well off of pork and poultry in savory dishes. Rhubarb is also delicious on its own: to make a super-simple compote, place rhubarb in a saucepan with sugar and a squeeze of lemon juice and cook gently until the stalks soften and begin to break down. Cool and serve with a dollop of whipped cream.
How to Store: Store rhubarb in a plastic bag in the crisper drawer of the refrigerator for 3 to 5 days. No time to cook it before it goes bad? Rhubarb freezes very well. Clean and dry each stalk and trim the bottom end. Use your knife to peel off any tough outer skin (it will come off easily in strips) and slice the rhubarb into 1/2-inch chunks. Seal in an airtight bag and freeze for up to a year.
What to Make:
Strawberry Rhubarb Smash [Saveur]
A rhubarb-infused simple syrup is muddled with strawberries, lemon, and mint, and spiked with bourbon in this lovely spring cocktail.
Roasted Pork Belly with Gingery Rhubarb Compote [Bon Appétit]
Your next dinner party entrée? This moist, crispy pork belly served with a piquant rhubarb compote.
JBF Award winner Claudia Fleming reinvents a classic with this showstopping shortcake.
Rhubarb Barbecue Sauce [JBF]
This unusual smoky sauce uses rhubarb’s natural tartness in place of vinegar, making it a bold accompaniment for grilled meat.
Rhubarb Curd Shortbread [Food52]
A little ginger in the shortbread dough adds a warm, spicy note to this gorgeous alternative to lemon squares.