Hello rhubarb season! On this week’s Tuesday’s Tip with The Kitchen Whisperer learn how to pick perfectly awesome rhubarb each and every time!
So rhubarb is one of those things that don’t quite make sense to me. It’s a vegetable but that’s used predominately in fruit type dishes. Growing up I called them “red celery” because to me that’s what they looked like. Mom had so much of this stuff it was ridiculous. And because, to me it looked like celery, I automatically hated it because well, I hated celery. To this day I still won’t eat raw celery but will tolerate it in soups and stuff. Rhubard is ehhhhh different for me. If it’s mixed say with sugar and other fruits then it’s fine. However truthfully it kind of has to be buried amongst the other fruits.
However since Mom loved it, she taught me how to pick it as well as some rules of thumb to keep in mind.
I’ve only ever seen the red/pink rhubarb in the stores and what we grew.
♠ The brighter the color, the more tart the flavor; to the point it’s almost slightly unbearably tart. This is why you’ll almost never see just a rhubarb pie but instead you’ll see strawberry rhubarb. The natural sweetness from the strawberries balance out the tartness.
♠ When you’re picking it or buying it in the stores, you want stalks that are firm, crispy when you bend them (meaning they’ll snap instead of bend in half) and are shiny.
♠ You want plants that have smaller leaves. However do NOT eat the leaves as those are deemed toxic. Per many sites, it’s said that “they contain the toxic oxalic acid which can summon renal failure or metabolic diseases”
♠ It is best to store fresh rhubarb in whole stalks as cut or diced pieces will dry out more quickly. Trim just before using. Store in the fridge fro 5-7 days; any longer and the ends may begin to curl
♠ To freeze fresh rhubarb, cut into 1″ pieces, place on a parchment lined pan and place the pan in the freezer (you’re flash freezing them) until frozen. Once the pieces are frozen, transfer to a freezer safe container. These will last up to 1 year frozen.