Ask most folks what they think of when they see rhubarb in the stores and farmers market at this time of year and they will answer “rhubarb pie”. Certainly, that is the most popular use for this vegetable. It pairs well with sweetness and fruit. Since rhubarb is in our boxes this week, here are some unexpected alternative uses. Plus, most of these recipes are designed to use just a few stalks of rhubarb…no need to have 12 cups of the vegetable on hand, LOL.
Rhubarb Recipes Using Less Sugar
As for taste, rhubarb is tart. Very tart. Think almost tart like a cranberry but the texture (raw) of celery. This is why it is normally paired with sweet fruits and a bucket load of sugar (again, think rhubarb pie). These recipes not only call for smaller amounts of rhubarb, but also smaller amounts of sugar.
A savory use for the vegetable. Here is a sauce that is bright, fresh and tangy thanks to the ginger in the recipe. Use this sauce to brighten up chicken, beef, or even tofu! Or, just stir it into rice or stir fries.
From over at braisedandglazed.com, here is a different take on a rhubarb sauce. No water is added to the sauce, so the flavor is strong and intense. In this recipe, the rhubarb is cured in salad and sugar for 30 minutes before cooking. The sugar and water pull out the moisture from the rhubarb, “ intensifying the flavor and providing a liquid to cook the sauce evenly.” Where the recipe above is more savory, this one is more sweet. It can be used on vanilla ice cream, mixed granola, or spread like jam on toast.
If you’re not a fan of sweet rhubarb sauces, here’s a way to spice up that vegetable. From allrecipes.com, here is a tangy summer favorite ready to serve with those tortilla chips and margaritas. A personal hint here…if you’re more of a wimp when it comes to hot pepper, and find that even seeding a fresh jalapeno doesn’t make it comfortable for you…I substitute pickled “tame” jalapeno slices (in a jar in the pickle section of your supermarket) chopped in my salsas. Or, if available, I will use fresh poblano peppers.
From cookwithrenu.com, here’s a fresh spring Salsa bursting with flavors. It is tangy, sweet and has a slightly tart kick. Rhubarb adds to the sweetness as well as the sour taste to the salsa. Celery adds its salty and earthy texture to the dish. Plus, it makes a beautiful, colorful dish! Note, you will need to scroll waaay down the web page to find the recipe. It is added below a passel of recipe links.
Easy to make. Easy to use. Rhubarb becomes a super-versatile condiment to serve with your next charcuterie board or serve a spoonful on top of a green salad. From Martha Stewart.
From Abras Kitchen, comes a salad that not only roasts rhubarb in honey as the sweetening agent, but will let you use the fennel from your last box if it’s still sitting in your fridge. The rhubarb is roasted in natural honey rather than loaded with sugar. The tart bite of rhubarb is then paired with salty feta cheese and crunchy pine nuts.
Here’s another fresh salad using rhubarb, only instead of mixed in the salad, it becomes the salad topping. From tasteofhome.com
Here’s a simple rhubarb recipe that you can use as a side dish to all sorts of dishes, both sweet and savory. If you love roasted vegetables, this is the recipe for you. A simple 3-ingredient recipe, you can still add it to sweet dishes like pies or crumbles, or dollop on ice cream. But, you also have the option of spooning it next to or on meat, pork, or fish like mackerel. Yes, this recipe can be frozen up to 3 months. From Elizabeth Chloe
Rhubarb becomes a secret ingredient in a summer picnic favorite. Midwestliving.com pairs it with ginger and bacon for big time flavor. And, only calls for 30 minutes of hands on time.
Rhubarb as an Entree
From Martha Stewart, rhubarb is combined with turmeric, ginger, cumin and other aromatics to become a delicious simmer sauce for boneless, skinless chicken breasts. This recipe uses only 8 ounces of rhubarb with 2 teaspoons of sugar.
I told you some of these recipes were unexpected food combinations for rhubarb. Here’s just that. This is a tangy (thank you, rhubarb), spicy quick curry. Ready for the table in 30 minutes, this will become a go-to option in your recipes. Lowlyfood.com uses Indian style spices and just 2 teaspoons of sugar to make a healthy main meal. If you haven’t visited the Lowly Food website, you should. It’s recipes focus on seasonal foods.
From one of my favorite websites, onegreenplanet.org, here’s a soup that combines savory, healthy lentils with the sweet, tangy character of rhubarb. It uses only 3 stalks of rhubarb, no sugar or sweetening, and calls for those carrots from our food co-op boxes. And, it’s easy to make! Ready to serve in around 30 minutes.
Rhubarb Recipes for the Sweet Tooth
OK. You’re a traditionalist and prefer to use your rhubarb in a dessert. Here are some suggestions. Needless to say, not all of these are low-sugar options. (Wink)
This may use more rhubarb than what is in this week’s bin. But with its hint of orange and blend of spices, you may want to keep this one on hand. Another plate of deliciousness from Taste of Home.
OK…so, I had to throw in a vegan dessert option. Like the Sour Cream Rhubarb Pie above, it calls for a goodly amount of rhubarb (4 cups), but unlike that recipe it is oil free, sugar free, gluten free and has no highly-processed ingredients. This old-fashioned Strawberry Rhubarb Crumble is loaded with tangy rhubarb, sweet strawberries, and topped with an irresistible oat and cinnamon crumble. From another of my favorite websites – Monkey and Me Kitchen Adventures.
This easy apple rhubarb crisp gets sweet-tart flavor from pink rhubarb, a bit of zip from fresh ginger, and oat-flecked cobbles of salty streusel. From the Bojon Gourmet
This bread recipe is made healthier using whole wheat flour, no refined sugar, no butter or oil, but still soft and tender. From Kim’s Cravings.