Picture this: you’re at the grocery store on one of those perfect, just warm enough spring days. You’ve decided to “pop into” the “market” because you’re so laid back for a few ingredients for dinner that night, that you unrealistically dream of eating al fresco in a baggy linen outfit. an overpriced shop. You spot purple and green asparagus. Sold. A leafy bunch of dark green spinach. Do. Forty-five meter-tall stalks of ruby-red rhubarb? Well come on you are absolutely will cook them too.
Every year, it’s the same sad story. While asparagus is roasted and spinach tossed into a random recipe just as it wilts, giant stalks of rhubarb — which barely fit horizontally in your fridge to begin with — are pretty and patient, waiting for you to do something with them. Every time you open the door, they’re there, wondering when their day will come, as the shelves and drawers empty and restock with other beautiful farm-fresh produce. There, the rhubarb stays, and because vegetables have brains, probably, the stalks think, “Uh, I’m gorgeous and cool. What is happening here?”
The rhubarb raffle in the spring is unmissable. This gorgeous dark red color is as potent as a siren song (although color is not an indication of rhubarb flavor, so green is just as good as red). Look how tall it is! And what freshness and what thickness! Imagine all the delicate desserts you could make and the fresh whipped cream you could add on top. Rhubarb is an aesthetic sign of eternal hope, and its sight in the grocery store conjures up visions of garden parties with paisley tablecloths, crisp wines, English accents, and whatever rich people do on Saturdays(?) . It’s almost impossible to resist the urge to buy more rhubarb than one person could ever know what to do with – and once you’ve figured out what to do with it, it’s just as impossible to resist buying it at new. When will you break this vicious cycle?
The answer is never.
So here’s what you can do with rhubarb.
Rhubarb and raspberry wavy ice cream, Kitty Travers La Grotta ice cream
Rhubarb CrispMark Bittman, NYT Kitchen
Rhubarb cream cakeClaire Saffitz, Enjoy your meal
Rhubarb and raspberry crumble cakeDiana Henry of Simple
Orange RhubarbRose Gray and Ruth Rogers, NYT Cooking
Swiss Chard And Rhubarb SausageMelissa Clark, NYT Kitchen
Edna Lewis’ Rhubarb Pie, Edna Lewis, NYT Kitchen
Almond Rhubarb Picnic BarsDeb Perelman, Shake Kitchen