It’s here! It’s in season! It’s abundant! So many recipes to make!
What is it?
It’s rhubarb! Familiar or not familiar? That is the question.
I’ll be completely honest…until now, I have had zero percent experience with this red and green tangy stalk of a plant. Even though it’s abundant where I live, rhubarb was never prevailant as a child or as an adult. You can imagine my excitement when a neighbor friend asked if she could bring some over; she had an over-abundant crop this year and thought I would enjoy it. Isn’t that nice? Six pounds of local rhubarb…grown only blocks away…in MY kitchen…
Um…*eye shift*…now what? What do I do with this stuff? Google. Google. Google…ahhh!
A little bit about rhubarb:
- Perennials that are harvested in mid to late Spring
- Usually considered a vegetable, but since it’s used as a fruit (typically cooked with other fruits with sugar) the US coined it as a fruit to avoid higher vegetable import tarriffs
- Watch out! Rhubarb does contain cathartic and laxative qualities
- Colors of rhubarb can vary from crimson red to speckled pink to light green
- The leaves of the rhubarb plant are toxic, so only use the stalks
- Rhubarb has been used in Chinese medicine for hundreds of years
- Claims of health beneifts include: anti-cancer properties, aiding indigestion, lowering blood pressure, diminishing hot flashes, lowering cholesterol, and reports of anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-allergy properties
To get myself aquainted with the newly accquired rhubarb, I decided to start with something easy: Rhubarb Simple Syrup. How is this used, you ask?
- Cocktails! (duh) Use in sweet/sour drinks, mojitos, margaritas or bellini’s (1 part syrup to 4 parts sparkling alcoholic beverage)
- Refreshing drinks! Use 1 to 3 with club soda or lime LaCroix. Also, add to lemonade or iced tea for a unique summer drink
- Syrup can be used to drizzle over fruit salad, cake, ice cream…anything that needs a little rhubarb kick in the mouth
Yay! I did it! I made something with rhubarb. What about you? Do you normally work with rhubarb?
Up next…Ginger Vanilla Rhubarb Jam.