what can i do with a ton of rhubarb

Wondering what to do with rhubarb? Tart, jammy and vividly pink, discover our best rhubarb desserts, jams, salads and more.

Rhubarb is a truly special ingredient. With its vivid pink colour and distinctively tangy taste, it can be stewed, poached, roasted and puréed in a range of dishes as well as drinks. Use it in a comforting crumble, a classic syllabub, a fruity chutney or a zingy kebab sauce – the possibilities are endless. For more inspiration, see our collection of rhubarb recipes.Advertisement

There are two kinds of rhubarb grown in the UK – forced rhubarb, which is available from January to March, and maincrop rhubarb, available from March to June.

Forced rhubarb is grown under pots in the charmingly named ‘rhubarb triangle’, the area around Leeds, Wakefield and Bradford. Cultivated under controlled light and soil conditions, it grows up to 5cm a day, and its rumoured you can ‘hear’ it growing, with tales of eerie creaking sounds as the stalks move their way up the soil.

Maincrop rhubarb is available in spring, usually from late March until June. It has a deeper colour and more tart flavour than delicate, light pink forced rhubarb, meaning the two should be treated differently during cooking.

Want to start your own rhubarb crop? Discover the best way to grow rhubarb, at GardenersWorld.com

Whilst some may argue that rhubarb is at its best when simply roasted and served with ice cream, we think theres so much more to this rosy veg. Check out our list of favourite recipes.

what can i do with a ton of rhubarb

How to prepare rhubarb

As tempting as it may be to throw them into a salad, remember that you should never eat rhubarb leaves. They contain oxalic acid, which is poisonous when ingested.

When it comes to the stalks, strip off any rough, stringy ribs from maincrop rhubarb with a small paring knife – forced rhubarb shouldn’t require any peeling.

Wash the stalks, trim off the top and bottom, then slice into your preferred shape.

To stew or poach your rhubarb to serve simply with ice cream or custard, cook for 8-10 minutes, or roast it for 15 minutes (forced) or 20 minutes (maincrop).

If youve got a glut of rhubarb, or dont want to use it immediately, follow our guide for how to freeze rhubarb, whether its raw, blanched or cooked.

Kicking off with a comfort food classic, our rhubarb crumble is the ultimate pudding to share with family and friends. Indulge in this heavenly combination of sharp fruity filling with sweet crumbly topping and creamy vanilla custard.

These delicious scones feature one of Britains best-loved flavour combinations: rhubarb and custard. Serve with clotted cream for an enjoyable afternoon tea in the garden.

This stunning stack features fluffy pancakes layered with thick custard and syrupy rhubarb for a truly tantalising treat. Also try our rhubarb & custard crêpes.

With the craze for gin not showing any signs of slowing down, keep current with our rhubarb-infused version. Pretty and refreshing, this will go down a treat on a hot day.

This showstopping cake celebrates two seasonal crops: rhubarb and elderflower. Together, they make a cake that not only looks incredible, but tastes just as good. Learn how to make best use of elderflowers.

Start your day right with our simple yet indulgent make-ahead French toast traybake. Its an impressive-looking bake that combines the tangy flavour of rhubarb and lemon with sweet orange, vanilla, cardamom and cinnamon. Taking only 15 minutes to prepare, it’s a fantastic dish for entertaining as it can serve up to six people, and everyone can help themselves from the baking dish. Just make sure no one’s hogging it!

Discover more French toast recipes, and if you’re thinking of throwing a big breakfast bonanza, check out our guide on the best big festive breakfasts for a crowd.

This recipe makes clever use of custard powder in the blondie batter to achieve the classic rhubarb & custard flavour. Discover more delicious blondies.

Bake our eye-catching rhubarb & custard tart for a dinner party showstopper. Blitz some of the rhubarb and combine it with the custard filling for an extra flavour injection, then layer the remaining stems in neat rows.

If you cant decide on a tart or crumble, then why not get the best of both worlds with a rhubarb & almond crumble tart.

Celebrate the gorgeous colour of forced rhubarb in this stunning rhubarb fool. The creaminess of the fool pairs fantastically with the buttery pistachio and cardamom shortbreads. Master the art of making buttery, crumbly biscuits with our shortbread recipes.

Another clever reinvention of the classic crumble comes in the form of our moreish rhubarb crumble muffins. These generously sized bakes have a beautifully moist texture from the rhubarb stalks, while the crunchy topping captures the essence of a crumble.

Create more brilliant bakes with these tempting rhubarb & custard blondies. The addition of custard powder to the blondie mix adds an extra fudgy texture.

For an unusual twist on the classic French dessert, try a filling made with stewed rhubarb and ginger custard. Although a little more effort, its the perfect way to pull out all the stops for a special meal. Discover more dinner party desserts.

Tart rhubarb pairs perfectly with gingernut biscuits to make a creamy, no-bake cheesecake thats perfect for spring. Drizzle the leftover homemade rhubarb syrup over porridge later in the week. Try more no-bake cheesecakes.

Make a batch of our fabulously fruity rhubarb & vanilla jam and spread liberally on toast. This compote also works well when swirled thr0ugh creamy porridge or yogurt.

Try our rhubarb & ginger jam for a flavour variation or serve your rhubarb compote with vanilla crème fraîche and pancakes.

Using spelt flour and olive oil for these pancakes gives them a unique, nutty taste that pairs beautifully with the vibrant tang of rhubarb, orange, almonds and crème fraîche topping. Enjoy for dessert, or why not start your weekend right with them as part of a decadent breakfast spread?

If you’re looking forward to a treat-yourself weekend, check out our most indulgent pancake recipes. Pancakes always taste better with friends – check out our guide to how to throw a pancake party to ensure you host the best soirée.

Its only natural that the classic combination of rhubarb and custard would be reinvented in a light and fruity cake. Use homegrown roasted rhubarb to maximise on flavour. Enjoy a slice of this moist sponge with a cup of tea, or serve with a dollop of yogurt for dessert.

Weve got plenty more rhubarb-laden baked goods for you to try:

Our rhubarb & date chutney delivers the perfect mix of sweet and tart. Leave this spicy spread to mature for a month to develop a full-bodied flavour. It makes the perfect accompaniment to cheeses, pâté and cold meats, and its equally delicious as a sandwich filling.

If youre short on time, then rustle up our simpler rhubarb chutney which only takes minutes to prepare.

Spice up traditional rice pudding by infusing it with lemon curd and rhubarb for a tangy, jammy hit. It makes an excellent treat for a cold day, and it’s gluten free!

Check out more of our rice pudding recipes, and for more inspiration on serving gluten-free treats, check out our gluten-free desert recipes.

A light and tangy syllabub is quick to make and even quicker to devour. Using fresh ginger in the rhubarb compote will give it a spicy kick, which works beautifully when swirled through the creamy filling.

As well as being a sweet sensation, rhubarb makes an excellent addition to savoury dishes. These Russian-style lamb kebabs are enhanced with a drizzle of rhubarb sauce. Theyd be great to share with friends and family at a casual gathering or spring barbecue if youre lucky with the weather.

For an elegant dinner party dish, serve roasted rhubarb alongside pork fillets stuffed with black pudding.

Combine rhubarb with creamy ricotta in a classic bread & butter pudding. Or experiment with rhubarb in other traditional desserts such as a rhubarb steamed pudding, or go further afield and make an American-style rhubarb & orange slump complete with fluffy dumplings and a fruity sauce.

If these indulgent puds dont satisfy your rhubarb cravings, then why not pair them with a vibrant pink rhubarb & star anise sorbet? As well as jazzing up your pudding bowl, this zingy ice cream acts as a palate-cleanser to round off the meal.

what can i do with a ton of rhubarb

What to look for when buying rhubarb

what can i do with a ton of rhubarb

Forced rhubarb should be watermelon pink with pale green leaves, while prime maincrop is redder in tone with bright green leaves. Avoid stems that are slimy or limp and go for plump and crisp. Remember that once the leaves have been removed, the rhubarb will quickly go limp.

Rhubarb 101 – Everything You Need To Know About Rhubarb


Can you freeze rhubarb?

For loose pieces of rhubarb, spread the pieces in a single layer on lined trays and open freeze them. Once frozen, tip the pieces into containers or bags. Otherwise, if you are not worried about them sticking together, freeze them straight into the container or bags. Use within three months.

What is the best use of rhubarb?

Use it in a comforting crumble, a classic syllabub, a fruity chutney or a zingy kebab sauce – the possibilities are endless. For more inspiration, see our collection of rhubarb recipes.

How do you preserve rhubarb?

Spread a single layer of cut rhubarb on trays, freeze until firm (1 to 2 hours), then put in air tight bags or containers. Rhubarb may also be frozen with sugar or syrup. For a sugar pack, mix 1 part sugar and 4 parts rhubarb and allow to stand until sugar is dissolved before packing into freezer containers.

What can I do with extra rhubarb?

This oatmeal is the perfect way to use up extra rhubarb. It’s fruity and delicious with just a little tang. This recipe is vegan, gluten-free and can be sugar-free. Made with fresh strawberry rhubarb simple syrup, this Lemonade is a refreshing and fun twist on the classic drink.

Can one use green rhubarb?

Green rhubarb is a vegetable similar to celery. You can eat its stems. Its leaves are toxic, so you should not eat them.

What is a good rhubarb snack?

It has tart bits of rhubarb, warm cinnamon, and a brown butter glaze that’s so good! Get the Cinnamon Rhubarb Bread recipe. These bars have a buttery crust, a gooey fruit filling, and a crumby oat topping. It’s just about the best snack you can have come spring! Get the Strawberry Rhubarb Bars recipe at Preppy Kitchen.

What can I eat with rhubarb compote?

You could use maple syrup or honey instead of sugar if you prefer, and add some ginger for a tasty antioxidant boost too. That’s really all there is to it. You could eat your rhubarb compote with yoghurt or alongside your grilled pork chops at dinner.

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