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Friday, May 8, 2009


Ingredients > Rhubarb
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what is it?

Rosy-red, sweet-tart rhubarb is a harbinger of spring, the first fruit to come into season. Actually, though it's usually treated as a fruit and used mainly in desserts, rhubarb is technically a vegetable. The edible parts are the fleshy, celery-like stalks—in fact, the leaves are poisonous, which is why you'll never see them attached at the market.

When used in desserts, rhubarb needs a good amount of sugar to offset its tartness. The simplest way to cook rhubarb is to simmer it in a little liquid with sugar for a compote or a sauce.

Rhubarb releases a lot of liquid as it cooks, so if you plan to use it in a pie or crumble, you need to add a thickener, such as tapioca or cornstarch.

how to choose:

Look for firm, crisp, unblemished stalks with a bright, intense red color. Choose thinner stalks, as larger ones can be overly stringy and tough.

how to prep:

Trim off the ends and any bits of leaves still attached. Peel the fibrous exterior only if it's very tough. Cut rhubarb as you would celery, into slices or small dice, depending on the recipe.

how to store:

Wrap the stalks tightly in plastic and refrigerate them; they should stay crisp for up to five days. You can also freeze sliced or diced rhubarb in plastic bags for up to six months. Frozen rhubarb tends to release more liquid and doesn't hold its shape as well as fresh rhubarb, so use it where texture is not essential, such as in muffins.

Ingredients > Rhubarb
32 of 39 <prev next>


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