Do you have a backyard full of rhubarb and no clue what to do with it?
Rhubarb (Rheum rhaponticum) is a member of the buckwheat family, and is not related to celery, despite obvious similarities in the edible stalks. It’s also one of the few perennial vegetables, meaning that once established, it will come back year after year with little-to-no effort on your part!
The roots of the rhubarb plant have a long history as an herbal medicine — particularly in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). Da huang was originally used as a laxative and for other digestive complaints. In fact, rhubarb’s name may be derived from the Greek rheo which means “to flow” – likely a reference to the plant’s purgative properties.
In culinary preparations, the sour stalks are most commonly recognized as something to be paired with strawberries in a strawberry-rhubarb pie. Pie is awesome, but that’s just scratching the surface of what you can make with this unique vegetable!
In the coming weeks, we’ll explore some fun options that don’t involve a ton of sugar or fancy-schmancy pie crust-making skills. Check out the video on YouTube!
- 2 T orange juice concentrate
- 1 T water
- 2 T honey
- 2 medium stalks rhubarb, finely chopped on the diagonal
- 1 lb. strawberries, quartered
- 1/4 c fresh peppermint, finely chopped
- 1/2 c salad toppers such as roasted/salted pumpkin seeds, pine nuts or rose petals
- mix of salad greens such as lettuce and kale
- optional: feta, goat or blue cheese
- Thinly chop rhubarb on the diagonal, and place in a bowl.
- In a small jar, combine orange juice concentrate, water and honey, and whisk until smooth.
- Pour orange-honey sauce over chopped rhubarb and toss to coat; set aside for about 30 minutes, allowing the orange-honey time to fully incorporate
- Add chopped mint and strawberries to marinated rhubarb, and toss.
- Prepare bed of salad greens and top with rhubarb-strawberry dressing.
- Top with nuts, seeds or garnishes of choice