Rhubarb is the old faithful of any garden. As sure as yellow dandelions show their faces in the spring, unfurling rhubarb leaves herald a season of new growth.
Rhubarb thrives wherever the average temperature doesn’t hover above 90ºF for very long. It actually prefers a cool season and freezing winters which nurture the ruby red color of its stalks. Rhubarb has been known to take over and may bear profusely throughout the season.
Generations before us used rhubarb traditionally as a spring tonic. Today our appreciation for rhubarb goes far beyond the medicinal. While the stalks have a sour taste, you can combine them with a variety of ingredients to make tempting dishes. Try substituting rhubarb, either raw or cooked, or as strained juice, in recipes where you’d use other sour foods such as lemons, vinegar, and sour cream. Try using rhubarb in your chutney recipe. When stewed it has a similar texture to applesauce and can be added to your favorite applesauce cake. A favorite is rhubarb strawberry pie.