If you’re interested in eating pretty, eat rhubarb. Botanically a vegetable, but classified as a fruit, rhubarb not only boasts a bright pink hue, it also packs a healthy punch. According to Nutrition-and-You, the celery-like plant is one of the least caloric foods of the harvest, and it carries key vitamins, minerals, and nutrients such as dietary fiber, vitamin A, vitamin K, vitamin B-6, iron, copper, calcium, and phosphate.
Now that winter is finally coming to a close, welcome the fresh spring bounty by picking up rhubarb at your farmers market and trying it in the variety of dishes highlighted here. Whether you want to eat your rhubarb for breakfast, dinner, or as dessert, you’ll find a recipe that is not only good for you, but tastes and looks great, too.
1. Rhubarb Salad with Goat Cheese
Starting out on a healthy note, we begin with this Rhubarb Salad with Goat Cheese from Martha Stewart. If you’re ready to spring clean your diet, try this salad and you’ll still feel satisfied. You can’t go wrong with goat cheese, and the sweet honey in the dish helps as well. This Rhubarb Salad with Goat Cheese is almost too pretty to eat, but after one bite of the greens, you’ll think otherwise.
- ¾ pound rhubarb, cut into ¾-inch pieces
- ¼ cup honey
- ½ cup walnut halves
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- Coarse salt and ground pepper
- 4 bunches arugula, tough ends removed
- 1 fennel bulb, cored and thinly sliced crosswise
- ½ cup fresh goat cheese, crumbled
Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit, with racks in upper and lower thirds. On a rimmed baking sheet, toss rhubarb with honey. Roast on upper rack until beginning to soften, about 5 minutes. Let cool on baking sheet. On another rimmed baking sheet, toast walnuts on lower rack until fragrant, 5 minutes. Let cool, then chop.
In a large bowl, whisk together oil and vinegar and season with salt and pepper. Add arugula and fennel and toss to combine. Top with rhubarb, walnuts, and goat cheese.
2. Lemon Cornmeal Waffles with Raspberry Rhubarb Compote
Our next highlighted recipe comes from Cooking Light, and it helps you serve your nutrient-rich rhubarb for a morning meal. Lemon Cornmeal Waffles with Raspberry Rhubarb Compote is a refreshing breakfast bursting with spring flavors. If you’ve never had cornmeal waffles, you’re in for a treat. And the tart raspberry rhubarb compote complements them perfectly. This sophisticated breakfast will leave you satiated, and it’ll also help you get your vitamins and minerals in the morning.
- ¾ cup sugar
- 1 (16-ounce) package frozen sliced rhubarb, thawed
- 1 (12-ounce) package frozen unsweetened raspberries, thawed and undrained
- ¾ cup medium stone-ground cornmeal
- 1 cup boiling water
- Cooking spray
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 2 teaspoons grated lemon rind
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 4.5 ounces all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 2 teaspoons reduced-sodium baking powder
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ¾ cup plain low-fat yogurt
- ½ cup 2% reduced-fat milk
Directions: To prepare compote, combine first 3 ingredients in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat; bring to a boil. Cover and simmer 25 minutes or until rhubarb is tender and mixture thickens, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat, and keep warm.
To prepare waffles, combine cornmeal and 1 cup boiling water in a large bowl. Let stand 20 minutes or until cooled to room temperature.
Coat a waffle iron with cooking spray; preheat.
Add eggs to cornmeal mixture; stir with a whisk to combine. Stir in butter, 2 teaspoons rind, and juice. Weigh or lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Combine flour and next 4 ingredients in a bowl; stir to combine. Add flour mixture to cornmeal mixture. Combine low-fat yogurt and milk in a bowl; stir with a whisk until smooth. Add yogurt mixture to cornmeal mixture, stirring just until combined.
Spoon about ¼ cup batter per 4-inch waffle onto hot waffle iron, spreading batter to edges. Cook 3 to 5 minutes or until done; repeat procedure with remaining batter.
3. Honey Roasted Rhubarb
Our next dish proves that rhubarb recipes don’t need to be complicated. Simply roasting the rhubarb with a combination of honey, lemon juice, and lemon zest does the trick, and the sweet treat can be served for breakfast or dessert. This recipes comes from Two Peas and Their Pod and requires only 4 ingredients. It’ll yield a pink rhubarb plate that pops on any table.
- 2 cups chopped rhubarb
- ¼ cup honey
- 2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
- 1 teaspoon orange zest
Directions: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a baking dish or pie plate. Place the chopped rhubarb in the greased dish. In a small bowl, whisk together honey, orange juice, and orange zest. Pour mixture over rhubarb and stir until rhubarb is well-coated.
Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until rhubarb is soft and tender. Let rhubarb cool to room temperature and serve with yogurt or ice cream, if desired.
4. Rhubarb Lentil Curry
This dinner recipe from Scissors and Spice takes rhubarb and pivots away from the sweet side of the spectrum, instead pairing the bounty of the healthy spring harvest with rich curry flavors. Rhubarb Lentil Curry brings lentils, sweet potatoes, rhubarb, mustard seeds, and a handful of warm spices into the mix, and it is as hearty as it is healthy. Serve it with rice or quinoa, and you’ll have the perfect fresh spring dinner on your hands.
- 1 large sweet potato
- 1 cup French lentils
- 3 cups of water
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 stalk of rhubarb
- ½ of 1 red bell pepper
- 2 cups frozen spinach or 2 cups cooked spinach, chopped finely
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ½ tablespoon of mustard seeds
- pinch of red pepper flakes
- ¼ teaspoon fennel seeds
- 1 tablespoon minced ginger
- 1 tablespoon cumin powder
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- salt to taste
Directions: Pour 3 cups of water in a saucepan. Add lentils and bay leaf. Bring to a boil, then simmer for about 30 minutes or until lentils are soft, but not falling apart. Drain excess water. Cook sweet potato. While lentils are simmering, cut your vegetables.
In a large sauté pan, heat oil and then stir in mustard seeds. Once they start popping, add red pepper flakes and fennel. Add ginger. Add cumin. Add red peppers and rhubarb to the pan. Sauté for a few minutes. Add spinach and sauté until fully cooked. Add cooked lentils, cooked sweet potato, and brown sugar and stir. Add salt to taste. Serve alone or with a grain like rice or quinoa.
5. Lemon Rhubarb Chicken
A chicken dish from Epicurious is next. Lemon Rhubarb Chicken is an easy weeknight meal that will appease all of your dinner guests and teach them to eat seasonally. This chicken tastes refreshing and takes on a citrus spin thanks to the lemon and rhubarb on the ingredients list. It’s a good dish that gives your normal chicken staples a twist in the new season.
- 5 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 2 tablespoons plus ¼ cup chopped shallots
- 4½ cups diced rhubarb, divided
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons finely grated lemon peel, divided
- ¼ cup butter
- ½ cup sliced unpeeled fresh ginger
- ¾ cup sugar
- 6 tablespoons brandy
- 4 cups low-salt chicken broth
- 1 whole star anise
- 1 bay leaf
- 6 boneless chicken breast halves with skin
Directions: Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add 2 tablespoons chopped shallots and 2 cups rhubarb; sauté until soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in lemon juice and 1 teaspoon lemon peel. Season with salt and pepper. Cool rhubarb stuffing.
Melt butter in heavy large saucepan over low heat. Add 2½ cups rhubarb, ¼ cup shallots, and ginger; sauté until soft, about 10 minutes. Increase heat to high. Add sugar and brandy; boil 1 minute. Add broth, star anise, and bay leaf. Simmer over low heat until mixture is reduced to 2 cups, about 1 hour. Strain sauce, discarding solids in strainer. Stir ⅓ cup rhubarb stuffing into sauce.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Using fingertips, separate skin from flesh of chicken breasts, forming pocket. Place about 2 tablespoons rhubarb stuffing in pocket. Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper. Heat 3 tablespoons oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Working in 2 batches, add chicken breasts, skin side down, to skillet; cook until brown, about 7 minutes. Transfer chicken, skin side down, to roasting pan.
Roast chicken 10 minutes; baste with pan juices. Roast until cooked through, about 10 minutes longer. Transfer chicken to platter, sprinkle with 1 teaspoon lemon peel, and serve, passing sauce alongside.
6. Rhubarb Panna Cotta
Moving on to the sweet side of things, we’re highlighting this twist on traditional panna cotta. This Rhubarb Panna Cotta from Hummingbird High is almost too pretty to eat, but one bite of the sweet treat, and you’ll change your mind. This recipe requires you to first make a tart shell, and then make a vanilla bean panna cotta and roasted vanilla rhubarb topping; however, we promise the grunt work is well worth it. This is a sophisticated spring dessert that will leave everyone’s mouth watering, and as aforementioned, it’s easy on the eyes, as well.
For the tart:
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch cubes
- 3 tablespoons water
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- a pinch of salt
- 5.5 ounces all-purpose flour
For the Vanilla Bean Panna Cotta:
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1 vanilla bean
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 2½ teaspoons powdered gelatin
- 3 tablespoons cold water
For the Roasted Vanilla Rhubarb Topping:
- 1 pound rhubarb, trimmed and sliced into 1-inch thick pieces
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ¼ cup red wine
Directions: Center a rack in the oven and preheat to 410 degrees Fahrenheit. In an oven-safe bowl, combine 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, 3 tablespoons water, 1 tablespoon granulated sugar, 1 tablespoon vegetable oil, and a pinch of salt. Place the bowl in the preheated oven for 15 minutes, until the mixture is boiling and the butter starts browning.
After 15 minutes, remove from the oven, and add 5.5 ounces of flour quickly, by spooning in flour in 1 tablespoon sized chunks. Use a heatproof rubber spatula to stir in the flour until it pulls off the sides of the bowl.
Once the dough is cool enough to touch, use the back of your hand to flatten out the dough onto your tart pan, using your finger tips to mold the dough up into the corners and sides of the pan. Once all the pans are lined, use a fork to poke several holes into the crust.
Place the tart pan on a baking sheet and bake at 410 degrees Fahrenheit for 15 minutes, or until the crust is light brown and starts to appear flaky. Once it does, remove carefully from oven and let rest on a wire rack. This crust is very forgiving — it should have hardly any cracks. If you are worried about cracks, you can reserve some of the dough to press into any cracks that might appear after the baking process — the residual heat from the freshly baked tart will bake the dough accordingly and patch up your crust. Once the crust is completely cooled, it is ready for filling.
For the Vanilla Bean Panna Cotta: Combine 2 cups heavy cream and 1 vanilla bean in a heavy bottomed saucepot. Split the vanilla bean lengthwise and scrape the seeds into the cream, whisking gently until the seeds are fully incorporated throughout the cream. Throw in the vanilla bean pods and cook the mixture over medium heat until it begins to just simmer and the cream smells fragrant. Remove from heat and cover, allow the vanilla bean to infuse the cream for 30 minutes.
After 30 minutes, fish out the vanilla bean pods. Add ¼ cup granulated sugar and reheat over medium heat. Don’t let it come to a boil; you want it to heat just until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture is uniformly hot throughout. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.
While the mixture is cooling, bloom the gelatin. Sprinkle 2½ teaspoons powdered gelatin over the surface of 3 tablespoons water in a small bowl. Let stand for around 5 minutes, until the granules have softened completely, before scraping out into the cream mixture and whisking until the gelatin is completely dissolved. Let cool slightly for another 10 minutes, before pouring carefully into the brown butter tart crust. Transfer to the refrigerator and allow to set for at least 2 hours, until the panna cotta is firm.
For the Roasted Vanilla Rhubarb Topping: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Place 1 pound chopped rhubarb in a 9-by-13-inch baking pan. In a small bowl, whisk together ½ cup granulated sugar and ¼ cup red wine. Drizzle over the rhubarb and toss to combine.
Split 1 vanilla bean lengthwise and scrape in seeds from the vanilla bean over the rhubarb mixture. Toss to combine and add the vanilla bean pods. Roast until rhubarb is very tender and the juices are syrupy, around 30 to 40 minutes. Let cool slightly on a wire rack before transferring to the panna cotta tart. Serve immediately.
7. Strawberry Rhubarb Pie
And we can’t possibly conclude this list without highlighting a recipe for rhubarb pie. Rhubarb Pie is a staple in many Southern kitchens and this recipe from Smitten Kitchen helps bring the fan favorite to yours. Regardless of whether you make your own crust or use a pre-made one, you’ll be smitten with the filling — a combination of sweet strawberries, ripe rhubarb, and of course, brown sugar. Make this pie and welcome the new spring season with open arms.
- 3 cups all purpose flour
- 2½ teaspoons sugar
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- ⅔ cup chilled solid vegetable shortening, cut into pieces
- ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons chilled unsalted butter, cut into pieces
- 10 tablespoons ice water
- 3½ cups ½-inch-thick slices trimmed rhubarb
- 1 (16-ounce) container strawberries, hulled, halved
- ½ cup golden brown sugar
- ½ cup sugar
- ¼ cup cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 large egg yolk beaten to blend with 1 teaspoon water for glaze
Directions: Combine flour, sugar and salt in processor. Using on/off turns, cut in shortening and butter until coarse meal forms. Blend in enough ice water 2 tablespoons at a time to form moist clumps. Gather dough into ball; cut in half. Flatten each half into disk. Wrap separately in plastic; refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour.
To make the filling: preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Combine first 7 ingredients in a large bowl. Toss gently to blend.
To assemble pie: Roll out 1 dough disk on floured work surface to 13-inch round. Transfer to 9-inch-diameter glass pie dish. Trim excess dough, leaving ¾-inch overhang. Roll out second dough disk on lightly floured surface to 13-inch round. Cut into fourteen ½-inch-wide strips. Spoon filling into crust. Arrange 7 dough strips atop filling, spacing evenly. Form lattice by placing remaining dough strips in opposite direction atop filling. Trim ends of dough strips even with overhang of bottom crust. Fold strip ends and overhang under, pressing to seal. Crimp edges decoratively.
Brush glaze over crust. transfer pie to baking sheet. Bake 20 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Bake pie until golden and filling thickens, about another 25 minutes.