Last updated: May 20, 2016

To us, this glorious time of year means warmer weather, longer days, and … rhubarb! The odd-looking veggie—rich in vitamins and minerals, and a good source of vitamins K and C, as well as calcium and potassium—is the star of the farmer's market right now. But for some reason, rhubarb has played sidekick to strawberries in pie for far too long. Read on for five recipes that show how versatile and delicious this super-tart seasonal treat can be.

Rhubarb Crumble

Photo: Beth Lipton

Serves: 6

Topping:

2/3 cup oats (53g)

2/3 cup pecans (about 3 oz.)

2/3 cup coconut sugar (128g)

Generous pinch of salt

4 Tbsp. coconut oil (plus more for pan)

Filling:

8 oz. rhubarb, trimmed, cut into ¼-inch-thick slices (about 2 cups)

16 oz. mixed berries (strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and/or blackberries; if using strawberries, hull and roughly chop)

1/3 cup coconut sugar (64g)

1 Tbsp. tapioca, optional (see note)

½ tsp. cinnamon

½ tsp. ground ginger

Pinch of salt

Ice cream, for serving, optional

  1. Place a rack in center of oven and preheat oven to 375ºF. Place a large sheet of aluminum foil on rack. Grease a deep-dish 9- to 10-inch pie plate with coconut oil. Make topping: In a food processor, pulse oats, coconut sugar, and salt until mixed. Add coconut oil; pulse until well mixed. (You should have about 3 cups topping.) Refrigerate topping while making filling.
  2. In a bowl, toss rhubarb gently with berries, coconut sugar, cinnamon, ginger, and salt. (You should have about 4½ cups filling.) Spread in pie plate. Crumble topping over filling, spreading evenly.
  3. Place pie plate on top of foil (to catch any drips) and bake crumble until filling is bubbly and topping is lightly browned, 50 to 60 minutes. Serve with ice cream, if desired.

Note: Personally, I like the crumble without the tapioca, because I think the fruit flavor comes out the best. But if you prefer a less-soupy, sturdier crumble, make the filling before the topping and let it stand with the tapioca in it for at least 15 minutes.

 

Gingery Roasted Rhubarb

Photo: Beth Lipton

Yield: About 3 cups

1 lb. rhubarb, trimmed, cut into 2-inch pieces (about 3 cups)

1/3 cup coconut sugar (64g)

Pinch of salt

Zest of 1 orange (about 1½ Tbsp.)

1 Tbsp. grated fresh ginger (from about a 2-inch piece)

  1. Preheat oven to 400ºF. Lightly grease an 11-by-7-inch baking dish with coconut oil or unsalted butter.
  2. In a bowl, toss together rhubarb, sugar, salt, zest, and ginger. Spread evenly in baking dish, cover with foil and roast for 10 minutes. Uncover and shake pan to mix. Continue to roast, uncovered, until rhubarb is tender but still holds its shape, about 5 to 10 minutes longer. Transfer to a bowl to cool. Serve warm, or cover and refrigerate to serve cold. Enjoy over yogurt or ice cream, or chop and serve with goat cheese and crackers.

 

Strawberry-Rhubarb-Ginger-Chia Jam

Photo: Jennifer Causey

Yield: 2½ cups

3 cups sliced fresh strawberries

1 cup sliced rhubarb stalks, thawed if frozen

¼ cup chia seeds

¼ cup honey

¼ cup water

1 Tbsp. grated fresh ginger

1/8 tsp. kosher salt

Stir together all ingredients in a medium saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring often, and breaking fruit into smaller pieces, until juices have released and mixture is a jamlike consistency, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool completely, about 1 hour. Spoon mixture into jars or a bowl. Serve immediately, or cover and refrigerate for up to 2 weeks.

 

Spring Beets with Rhubarb Vinaigrette

Photo: Jennifer Causey

Serves: 6

8 oz. finely chopped rhubarb

¼ cup red wine

2 Tbsp. honey

2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar

2 Tbsp. finely chopped shallot

3 tsp. chopped fresh thyme

Kosher salt and black pepper

1½ lb. beets, peeled and cut into small wedges

3 Tbsp. olive oil

1½ oz. crumbled soft goat cheese

1/3 cup chopped pistachios

  1. Stir together rhubarb, 2 cups water, wine, honey, and vinegar in a saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium and simmer until rhubarb has broken down, about 10 minutes. Pour mixture through a wire-mesh strainer into a bowl, pressing solids to extract liquid. Discard solids. Wipe saucepan clean. Place strained liquid in saucepan. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until reduced to 1/3 cup, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a bowl; stir in shallot, 2 teaspoons of the thyme and ½ teaspoon each salt and pepper. Refrigerate for 10 minutes.
  2. Place a steamer basket in a large stockpot with a tight-fitting lid. Add water to just below steamer basket and place stockpot over high heat. Place beets in steamer basket. Cover and cook until beets are tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Transfer to a plate; refrigerate for 10 minutes.
  3. Whisk oil into rhubarb mixture. Add beets; toss to coat. Transfer to a serving bowl. Top with goat cheese, pistachios and remaining 1 teaspoon thyme.

 

Seared Duck Breast with Ginger-Rhubarb Sauce

Photo: Randy Mayor/Cindy Barr

Serves: 4

2 cups dry red wine

1 cup finely chopped rhubarb

2 Tbsp. finely chopped shallots

1 bay leaf

1 star anise

½ cup ginger preserves

½ tsp. kosher salt

2 (12-oz.) packages boneless whole duck breast, thawed, skinned, and cut in half

½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper

2 tsp. olive oil

  1. Combine first 5 ingredients in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil; cook until reduced to 1 cup (about 18 minutes). Stir in preserves and ¼ tsp. salt; cook 1 minute. Strain wine mixture through a sieve over a bowl. Discard solids.
  2. Sprinkle duck with ¼ tsp. each salt and pepper. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add duck; cook 5 minutes on each side or until desired degree of doneness. Cut duck diagonally across the grain into thin slices; serve with sauce.