Rhubarb Kitchen Tips

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A sprinkle of sugar helps cut rhubarb's tarty tang.
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Rhubarb Recipes

To store fresh rhubarb, place it in a plastic bag, unsealed, and refrigerate for two weeks; it is best used as soon as possible.

Stalks can be cut crosswise into slices like celery or diagonally into 1/2- or 1-inch pieces. They can also be cut crosswise into 1 1/2- or 2-inch lengths and then julienned for a different texture.

If rhubarb is old or fibrous, remove some of the strings. Since rhubarb cooks so quickly and becomes soft, you can leave most of them without a problem.

Preserve rhubarb by cutting the stalks into 1/2- to 1-inch pieces. They can be packed raw into containers or placed in freezer ziplock bags, but be sure to label and date before freezing. Or blanch for 1 minute, drain and cool; pack into containers or freezer ziplock bags; be sure to label and date before freezing.

To stew rhubarb for making a sauce or puree, combine 1 generous cup sliced rhubarb with 1/4 cup sugar in small, heavy-bottomed saucepan and place over medium heat. Stir and cook for 2 minutes until sugar dissolves, cover and cook for 2 to 3 minutes more. Rhubarb should be tender with some liquid in pan. This can be eaten as is, spooned over ice cream, custard, scones, cake, etc., or pureed. Use the puree in cocktails, beverages or as a sauce. Store in a jar in refrigerator or freeze in container; label and date.

To make syrup, combine 2 cups sliced rhubarb with 1/2 cup water and 2/3 cup sugar in small, heavy-bottomed saucepan and place over medium heat. Stir and bring to boil, reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 10 minutes. Let sit for 10 to 15 minutes, press through sieve with spoon. Transfer to jar and store in refrigerator for 1 week; label and date. This syrup makes a great addition to any fruit salad, dessert or beverage and makes an innovative margarita, mojito, cosmopolitan or daiquiri.

Although rhubarb is easily frozen, it also can be canned in sugar syrup – check your canning guide for amounts and processing time.

The flavor of rhubarb pairs nicely with strawberries, oranges, apples and ginger.

Rhubarb contains vitamins A and C, potassium and calcium. Since rhubarb is high in oxalic acid content, people with kidney stones should not eat it. Also those with a low calcium absorption rate should not consume rhubarb.