How to Prepare Rhubarb

Nothing reminds me more of the taste of summer like a strawberry rhubarb pie. The flaky crust, perfect blend of sweet and sour, and always homemade. Rhubarb is a versatile vegetable most commonly used to enhance the flavor of other fruits. But it can also be used on its own to make delicious jams, cakes, muffins, and savory sauces.

This seasonal produce is never around long, so we are preparing you with the know-how to get started on your favorite rhubarb dishes this summer. Your friends and family will be sure to thank you!

Is Rhubarb Poisonous?

While the internet has the tendency to draw attention to worst-case scenarios, rest assured that proper preparation of rhubarb will not harm your friends and family. The leaves of the rhubarb plant contain toxic levels of oxalic acid that can cause stomach irritation. The stalk, however, is perfectly safe.

Still nervous to bring rhubarb leaves into the house? Take solace in the fact that a human would have to eat the leaves of 10+ stalks to be poisoned. In other words, if a little piece of leaf accidentally gets mixed into your pie filling, no one is being sent to the hospital.

How to Prepare Rhubarb on the Stove  

  1. With a sharp knife trim and discard all leaves and the end of the stalk.
  2. Use a vegetable peeler to remove any spots or coarse strings and wash under cold water.
  3. Rhubarb breaks down quickly so cut the stalks crosswise into one- or two-inch pieces.
  4. Combine ¼ cup of sugar and a ¼ cup of water in a saucepan. Bring it to a boil over medium heat and stir until the sugar is dissolved.
  5. Add the rhubarb and bring the sauce back to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook uncovered until it is tender and pink. About ten minutes.

How to Prepare Rhubarb in the Oven

  1. Place two pounds of Rhubarb in one-inch pieces on the bottom of a 9 x 13 glass baking dish.
  2. Pouring evenly over the rhubarb, add ¼ teaspoon of ground ginger and 1½ cups of sugar.
  3. Cover the dish with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.
  4. Remove from the oven and stir the mixture. Remove the foil and bake uncovered for an additional 10 minutes or until the rhubarb is tender and pink.

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