• Pistachio Rhubarb Yogurt Cake
  • Lemon Rhubarb bars
  • Rhubarb-Braised Chicken Thighs
  • Persian Lamb Stew with Rhubarb & Mint

Bright and crisp, the very fruit of spring! Rhubarb makes the long wait of winter worth it. There’s boat loads you can do with rhubarb. Some people gnaw on it directly, through most will add something sweet to help soften it’s mega tart punch. Brace yourself, recipes for rhubarb often have lots of sugar.

At the farm, we like to bake with rhubarb – scones, coffee cakes, carrot cake (you know, instead of pineapple, add rhubarb. so dang good). By adding rhubarb to an already sorta sweet treat, you don’t need to add additional sugar.  We haven’t tried this out yet, but it seems like an awful good idea: Rhubarb Cupcakes.

Saveur has a gallery of Best Rhubarb Recipes with links to a range of recipes that you absolutely shouldn’t miss. Pies and chutneys and cocktails, and compote, granita, oh my. Check out this link to a recipe for water bath canned Orange Rhubarb Marmalade.

Pistachio Rhubarb Yogurt Cake

Our friend, Mary Beth, is possibly (definitely) the World’s Best Cake Baker. Spring-form wizard, Master of the Tres Leches. Here’s a recipe she’s shared for rhubarb pistachio cake (originally from Martha Stewart).

  • 1 stick plus 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pan
  • 2 cups plain whole-milk yogurt
  • 1 pound rhubarb, trimmed and cut crosswise into 3-inch pieces
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar, plus more for sprinkling
  • 1 3/4 teaspoons coarse salt
  • 1/2 cup shelled unsalted pistachios
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons orange-blossom water or pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Butter an 8-inch-round, 2-inch-deep cake pan and line bottom with parchment; butter parchment. Place 1 cup yogurt in a fine-mesh sieve set over a bowl; let drain in refrigerator.

Meanwhile, toss together rhubarb, 1/2 cup granulated sugar, 1 tablespoon butter, and 1/4 teaspoon salt on a rimmed baking sheet. Roast, stirring once, just until tender, about 15 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees.

In a food processor, finely grind pistachios. Add flour, baking powder, and remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons salt; pulse to combine. Beat together remaining 1 stick butter and 1 cup granulated sugar with a mixer on medium-high speed until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time, then orange-blossom water. Reduce speed to low and beat in flour mixture in two batches, alternating with remaining 1 cup yogurt.

Transfer batter to pan and smooth top. Arrange about half of rhubarb over top; refrigerate remaining rhubarb in syrup until ready to serve. Sprinkle cake with granulated sugar and bake until a tester inserted in center comes out clean, about 1 hour, 15 minutes. (If browning too quickly, tent with foil.) Let cool in pan on a wire rack 15 minutes. Run a small sharp knife around edges. Invert onto a cutting board, then immediately flip onto rack; let cool completely.

Stir confectioners’ sugar into drained yogurt. Chop remaining rhubarb and swirl into yogurt, along with some syrup. Serve cake with yogurt, drizzled with more syrup.

Lemon Rhubarb bars

This recipe is one adapted to add more lemon flavor and rhubarb, originally from The Gourmet Cookbook

2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
12 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into chunks

3/4-1 cup rhubarb, chopped
1/4 cup lemon juice
3 large eggs
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons heavy cream
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest, from about 2 lemons
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice, from about 2 lemons
1/8 teaspoon salt

Powdered Sugar for garnish.

Preheat the oven to 350F, with a rack in the middle. You’ll use a 9 inch square pan, but you can leave it ungreased.

For the crust: In a food processor, pulse together all of the ingredients except the butter to combine. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture looks like course meal. Pour the dough into your pan and press it onto the bottom. Bake for about 20 minutes, until the crust is just barely golden brown.

In the meantime, make the filling: In a small sauce pan, put chopped rhubarb and 1/4 cup lemon juice. Cook this down to slop-consistency, remove from heat and let cool. Whisk together all of the ingredients, including rhubarb-slop for the filling until combined. Be sure there are no lumps of flour left in the mixture.

When the crust has been partly baked, remove it from the oven and pour the filling into the still-warm crust. Return to the oven until the filling is set, about 16 minutes. Transfer the whole pan to a rack to cool. Cover and refrigerate until cold. This will take at least 4 hours, so you may as well give yourself overnight.

To serve, cut the bars and sprinkle with powdered sugar.

We are frequently asked for savory dishes that use rhubarb. Here are a couple ideas:

Rhubarb-Braised Chicken Thighs This one comes highly recommended by Trish’s mother.

  • 6-8 chicken thighs (boneless, skinless, about 2 pounds)
  • Salt
  • Black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/2 cup dry sherry
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 1 pound rhubarb, cut into 1/2″ dices

Heat the oven to 375°F and arrange a rack in the middle. Pat the chicken pieces dry with paper towels, then season generously with salt and pepper.

Heat the oil in a large, heavy-bottomed, ovenproof pot over medium-high heat until shimmering. Place the chicken thighs in the pot and cook until light golden brown, about 3 minutes. Flip and cook the second side until golden brown, about 3 minutes more.  Remove the chicken pieces from the pot.

Reduce the heat to medium and remove all but 2 tablespoons of fat from the pot. Add the chopped onion, ginger, and cardamom, season with salt and pepper, and sauté until the onions are soft, about 2 minutes. Pour in the sherry, scraping the bottom of the pot to release any browned bits, and reduce the liquid by half, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add the chicken stock, honey, and orange juice and stir to combine. Return the chicken pieces and any accumulated juices to the pot, turn the chicken to coat, and bring the mixture to a boil.

Place the pot in the oven and cook until the sauce is vigorously bubbling around the sides and the chicken, when cut with a knife, is no longer pink, about 25-30 minutes. Remove from the oven, scatter the rhubarb pieces between and around the chicken, and return the pot to the oven until the rhubarb is knife tender, about 10 minutes more.

Excellent served with a salad of fresh greens!


Persian Lamb Stew with Rhubarb & Mint A recipe modified from Pomegranates & Roses: My Persian Family Recipes by Ariana Bundy, this would also work well with beef or chicken, if lamb is not an option.

  • 2 tbsp olive oil or other cooking fat (beef tallow or schmaltz)
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 stalk celery, diced
  • 1 lb leg of lamb, deboned, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp brown sugar (or honey)
  • juice and zest of 1/2 lemon, or to taste
  • 1-1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 25 g fresh mint, finely chopped
  • 3 cups (lots!) flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped
  • 3 cups or unsalted chicken stock
  • 1/3 tsp dried mint
  • 1.5 lbs rhubarb, cut into 2 inch pieces on the diagonal
  • 1/2 tsp saffron threads ground in a small mortar and dissolved in 2-3 tbsp hot water

In a stew pot over medium to high heat, warm the fat of your choice up and brown the meat.

Remove the meat, turn the heat down to medium-low and add the onions and celery, scraping up the brown bits from the bottom of the pan, cooking for about five minutes or until the onions are transparent and turning golden.
Add the meat back in, along with the garlic, butter, turmeric, sugar, lemon zest (reserve the juice for later) and salt, pepper, and the fresh herbs. Cook for about five minutes, then add the dried mint and chicken stock.
Cover (but leave the lid slightly ajar) and simmer over low heat for an hour, stopping by to stir it up a few times as it cooks.

Add the chopped rhubarb and saffron liquid, and let it cook for 20 minutes. Be sure not to stir this up, because the rhubarb becomes very soft, and you want it to remain intact for serving.
Taste it. Add the lemon juice if needed, but if it’s already more sour than you like, then you can balance it out with a little more sugar or honey.
Garnish with fresh herbs and serve.
This dish would be wonderful over rice, or over a pureed root vegetable, like mashed turnips.

Storage tip: Wrap in a damp towel and place in an open container in the refrigerator. Rhubarb freezes well for use later in the year. There’s nothing like rhubarb in December. I’d suggest chopping the stems to 3/4″-1″ chunks, laying the pieces out on a cookie sheet in a single layer to freeze, then transferring and storing it all in a freezer bag.


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