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Rhubarb, Beyond Jams, Pies and Crumbles

 
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Don't get me wrong, I love some Strawberry Rhubarb jams, Blubarb pies, etc, but I really want to find more ways to use the sour stalks other than desserts. So far, I have found a decent recipe for Rhubarb Slaw, and another for Sweet and Sour Sauce (using rhubarb). I would love to know if anyone else has found ways to use it that don't involve desserts or jams. Instinct tells me some sort of a rhubarb and pork crockpot dish would probably be a good one as well. I can find recipes online of course, but I trust people with experience far more than nebulously tested online recipes. I've found some that sounded great, but turned out to be real duds.
 
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I made rhubarb ketchup from a recipe online....I thought it made a better BBQ sauce for pork.  Some tweaking would probably make it great.
 
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I have used rhubarb like limes.  When I drank tequila, I would crunch a bite of rhubarb instead of biting a lime wedge.  I decided to call it the Norwegian version of drinking tequila.
John S
PDX OR
 
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It was eaten with oily fish just like gooseberries are. so stew some with a bit of sugar not enough to make it sweet but enough to stop your mouth puckering and serve with anything fatty, so mackerel, herring or even lamb/duck
 
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D. Logan wrote:I would love to know if anyone else has found ways to use it that don't involve desserts or jams.



Rhubarb is a great ingredient in chutney (I make it very spicy). I've also included it in lacto-ferments and that worked really well. My ferments are like a cross between sauerkraut and kimchi.
 
D. Logan
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Greg Martin wrote:I made rhubarb ketchup from a recipe online....I thought it made a better BBQ sauce for pork.  Some tweaking would probably make it great.



I saw a BBQ recipe somewhere using Rhubarb. The only issue I had with BBQ recipes is that all of them require ketchup as an ingredient and it rubs me the wrong way on my from-scratch habit. It would mean I'd first have to make a batch of ketchup just to make a batch of BBQ. lol. Sounds like this one might be a way around that issue. Do you still happen to have the recipe?

John Suavecito wrote:I have used rhubarb like limes.  When I drank tequila, I would crunch a bite of rhubarb instead of biting a lime wedge.  I decided to call it the Norwegian version of drinking tequila.



That makes sense. The sour element is what made me think to look into sweet and sour, so I wonder how it might do being used anywhere a lime is used. Might take some extra effort since most of the time it is the lime juice people are after though when not eaten directly such as you mention.

Skandi Rogers wrote:It was eaten with oily fish just like gooseberries are. so stew some with a bit of sugar not enough to make it sweet but enough to stop your mouth puckering and serve with anything fatty, so mackerel, herring or even lamb/duck



Good information to have. I'll have to try combining those with rhubarb when doing searches and see what comes up. If nothing, it's at least a solid place to start when experimenting.

Erik van Lennep wrote:Rhubarb is a great ingredient in chutney (I make it very spicy). I've also included it in lacto-ferments and that worked really well. My ferments are like a cross between sauerkraut and kimchi.



I vaguely recall finding a Rhubarb ferment in a book a year or two ago, but didn't think to write it down at the time. I almost never use chutneys and salsas, so at the time it was just a passing curiosity. The up side to fermenting is that the same methods work pretty much across the board, so hunting own a recipe probably isn't really all that important so much as just picking flavors that pair well. What are some of the things you include in your chutney?
 
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I make a sauce. Use it on desserts and chicken.
 
Erik van Lennep
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D. Logan wrote:
I vaguely recall finding a Rhubarb ferment in a book a year or two ago, but didn't think to write it down at the time. I almost never use chutneys and salsas, so at the time it was just a passing curiosity. The up side to fermenting is that the same methods work pretty much across the board, so hunting own a recipe probably isn't really all that important so much as just picking flavors that pair well. What are some of the things you include in your chutney?



I am an experimental chef, so rarely do anything exactly the same twice. But in general, a rhubarb chutney would include (all fresh):
rhubarb, ginger, chilies, garlic, onions, and some apples for chunkiness and pectin.  If I'm making it for holiday time, I'd also add cranberries. Since the rhubarb goes anywhere from slurpy to liquid, it needs other fruits to hold up through the cooking.

In a ferment, that will vary a lot more, as I capture whatever is seasonal in the veggie garden and add fruits of the forage. The base is always cabbage and/or kale, onions, garlic and various pickling seeds like coriander, cumin, dill, mustard. Depends if I'm going for spicy or mild. The rhubarb in a ferment maintains its shape as nothing is cooked. But it tends to meld with the other flavors and while adding some acid to the blend, it's not a big sour hit when you bite down on a chunk.
 
Greg Martin
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D. Logan wrote:

Greg Martin wrote:I made rhubarb ketchup from a recipe online....I thought it made a better BBQ sauce for pork.  Some tweaking would probably make it great.


I saw a BBQ recipe somewhere using Rhubarb. The only issue I had with BBQ recipes is that all of them require ketchup as an ingredient and it rubs me the wrong way on my from-scratch habit. It would mean I'd first have to make a batch of ketchup just to make a batch of BBQ. lol. Sounds like this one might be a way around that issue. Do you still happen to have the recipe?



This is the one I used.....can't recall if I tweaked it much or how (sorry!):  roasted rhubarb ketchup recipe
It was ok on fries, but called out to be turned into BBQ sauce to me.
 
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I make the BEST rhubarb cordial...rhubarb in vodka for a month or so and the add simple syrup to taste.  Oranges add a nice touch or orange peel.

I regularly use rhubarb in BBQ sauce...just taste and try.  Tomato base, rhubarb, sweetener, red pepper, onion, lots of garlic. Love it on ribs, pork roast, chicken etc.

I’m thinking....spaghetti sauce?

 
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John Suavecito wrote:I have used rhubarb like limes.  When I drank tequila, I would crunch a bite of rhubarb instead of biting a lime wedge.  I decided to call it the Norwegian version of drinking tequila.
John S
PDX OR



This was common practice in Estonia when I lived there. thick slices of rhubarb in water pitchers instead of citrus.

I have also made rhubarb pickles with vinegar and sugar, similar to any sweet-and-sour pickle, but a pretty color.
 
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Rhubarb wine is also an option.  There is a place in South Dakota that does raspberry or strawberry and rhubarb wines (the raspberry one tastes similar to a rose wine).  

I’ve not cooked it myself but some restaurants here Have done sautéed rhubarb With herbs as a savory side.
 
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I was also going to suggest wine. I remember when we cleaned out my great-grandparent's cellar after their passing, we found many bottles of wine as my great-grandfather was an amateur winemaker. I remember rhubarb and raisin wine among others. I was only ten at the time so wasn't allowed to sample it.

I know you're not interested in jelly, but one of my best jellies was a combination of equal parts rhubarb, apple and blackberry juice. The jelly was reminiscent of strawberries and was the first to go that winter.  Could be an interesting wine as well.
 
D. Logan
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Michelle Heath wrote:I know you're not interested in jelly, but one of my best jellies was a combination of equal parts rhubarb, apple and blackberry juice. The jelly was reminiscent of strawberries and was the first to go that winter.  Could be an interesting wine as well.



It's not a full lack of interest,  but more that jams and pies are sort of cheat mode. It's easy to make that tart tang good with a bunch of fruit and sugar. I made this post to expand my horizons. Lord knows I will use it with fruit often enough! That combo will go into my notes, even if it happens to be slightly off topic for the focus of this post.
 
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I have a friend here who makes rhubarb wine with his rhubarb. He than magically turns it into concentrated liquor. Which he uses to make his own tinctures...

so turning it from a food into a tincture of sorts.  
 
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My wife makes an amazing rhubarb and lingon berry sauce that we as a dipping sauce, like plum sauce with spring rolls.  The rhubarb for flavour and the lingon brrry for flavour and colour.
 
Janet Reed
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Tim Siemens wrote:My wife makes an amazing rhubarb and lingon berry sauce that we as a dipping sauce, like plum sauce with spring rolls.  The rhubarb for flavour and the lingon brrry for flavour and colour.



Tim
I love Lingonberry...are you growing them up there?
 
Tim Siemens
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The lingonberries grow wild in our back 40.
 
Janet Reed
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Tim Siemens wrote:The lingonberries grow wild in our back 40.

lucky you!
 
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So many good suggestions here!
I like chutney.
We also just simply stew it with a tiny bit of sugar and use with breakfast granola and yoghurt. So not really dessert - it's not really sweet - but as a breakfast fruit. I just slice, cook for a few minutes, then use or freeze for winter.
 
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Janet Reed wrote:I make the BEST rhubarb cordial...rhubarb in vodka for a month or so and the add simple syrup to taste.  Oranges add a nice touch or orange peel.




Do you mean that you add the steeped vodka to a simple syrup to make a cordial? That's really interesting, I've never seen that method before for cordial.

I made rhubarb gin by steeping gin with rhubarb and some sugar - it disappeared before it had finished steeping! Don't know how that happened :)
 
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I chuck it in a stew along with other vegetables.  I made steak and rhubarb pie once and it was great--savory pie, of course.  I add it to stir fry too.  It cooks down to mush and sort of disappears, so anything with that savory umami taste and different textures will absorb it well.  I almost never use it sweetened.

I've also lacto fermented it with lots of garlic--really good.
 
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