Late spring/early summer: the time of year when you might see rhubarb popping up at your local CSA (community supported agriculture), farmers’ market or grocery store. Many of us immediately think of making a strawberry rhubarb pie or other sweet treat with this tangy vegetable. But, try it in a salad and open new doors for the possibility of rhubarb. The flavors and textures of this salad pair so well together and it’s a great time of year for arugula and fennel as well.
- 3 large rhubarb stalks, cut into ¾" pieces
- ¼ cup raw, local honey
- 4 - 5 cups arugula
- 1 fennel bulb, cored and thinly sliced
- ⅓ cup pine nuts
- ⅓ cup goat cheese, crumbled
- Olive oil, to taste
- Fresh lemon juice, to taste
- Sea salt and pepper, to taste
- Preheat oven to 425ºF.
- Line a small baking sheet with parchment paper. Toss rhubarb with honey and lay in a single layer on parchment paper.
- Place in oven for 5 - 7 minutes. Remove and allow to cool.
- Top 4 plates evenly with arugula, fennel, pine nuts, goat cheese and rhubarb.
- Drizzle with olive oil, fresh squeezed lemon, sea salt and pepper to taste.
Fun facts about rhubarb:
1. Rhubarb is a cool season perennial and looks great as part of an edible landscaping plan.
2. It’s the stems (or stalks) that are edible – NOT the leaves (those are POISONOUS)!
3. Did you know that 1 cup of cooked rhubarb offers just as much calcium as milk?!
4. Rhubarb is a great source of fiber (and helps sooth the stomach), vitamin K (supporting healthy bones and neuron health), vitamin C (immune boosting), and vitamin A (important for skin, mucous membranes and vision).
5. Rhubarb offers minerals such as manganese, iron, potassium, and phosphorus.
6. Select rhubarb that is crisp (not limp).
7. Tightly wrap stalks in plastic and store in a crisper drawer in your refrigerator to maximize freshness (5 days).
8. It’s best to wash and chop rhubarb JUST before you are ready to use it to maintain the most nutrition and taste.
9. If you are freezing rhubarb: 1) remove the leaves, wash and chop into recipe friendly pieces, 2) lay in a single layer on a cookie sheet and place in the freezer for 1 hour, 3) remove from the freezer and place in a freezer bag, removing air before sealing.
10. Rhubarb pairs well with MANY foods and can be prepared in a variety of ways. Try it in a gravy or sauce, a chutney or salsa, a cocktail, a smoothie, or your favorite paleo muffin or crisp.
Share your favorite way to use rhubarb in the comments below!!