My grandmother had a Rhubarb patch in her backyard. Crunchy, like celery, and tart I always enjoyed a stalk or two when we went out back and picked some. She would have me dip the stalk in honey as we crunched the ends. It starts to pop up in early spring and grows all summer. She made pies of course and sometimes added Strawberries. I like the straight up Rhubarb Pie best but Strawberries are on of my favorite berries.
It has been on the menu for thousands of years in Europe and Asia and is now found all around the world. It traveled the famous Silk Road from China. Used mainly in pies and deserts it popularity rose dramatically as sugar became affordable to the common people. Mixed with just about any other fruit it is a tasty addition to your diet.
Considered a vegetable everywhere but in the United States where it’s considered a fruit because of bureaucratic red tape.
The large green leaf is toxic, the red, crunchy stalks are sweet and tart, and the root has been used for some medicinal purposes. The Chinese have used it for a laxative and an aid to losing weight. Researchers have also found, in 2009, that in mice the root lowers blood sugar levels.
Rhubarb is high in calcium, fiber, Vitamin K, and anti-oxidants. Vitamin C, B9 (folic acid), and E. A small amount of protein with iron and potassium. Good stuff minus all the sugar we tend to add to it. Sweeten it with other fruit and keep it healthy.
There is a lot more to Rhubarb than just pie. I have located a site that is dedicated to these recipes. Its called The Rhubarb Compendium. http://www.rhubarbinfo.com/recipes
I have seen the vegetable, or fruit, at the South Bend Farmers Market and trying to come up with some ideas for it. A salsa comes to mind. No tomato. Apple, green, red, and yellow bell peppers. Onion and garlic with some heat from the jalapeno. Chilly powder and cilantro. Sounds good to me. I think it will be great as a condiment with pork on the barbecue. I’ll let you know how it turns out.