What We’re Making with … Rhubarb

rhubarb stalks

Fresh rhubarb -- so many possibilities

We live in a world where so much produce is available year-round — where we’re used to seeing tomatoes, however flavorless, just as abundant on supermarket displays in February as they are in August. So I feel a genuine sense of excitement at the arrival of truly seasonal produce like rhubarb. There’s nothing I love more than a strawberry-rhubarb crumble with vanilla ice cream, so I keep a big batch of oat crumble topping in the freezer for (nearly) instant gratification when rhubarb fever strikes.

I took a poll of Martha Stewart Living staffers, asking them, “What’s your favorite thing to make with rhubarb?”

“I love all things rhubarb. I stew it and eat it almost every day over my yogurt. And I love strawberry-rhubarb pie. It’s also good stewed with onions over pork chops or loin.”

– Gael Towey, chief integration and creative director

rhubarb crumb bars

Rhubarb Crumb Bars

“Every year when rhubarb appears at the Greenmarket I excitedly load up my bag with a more-than-rational amount. Then for a week or two we binge on a variety of rhubarb treats.

“Last Sunday, for Mother’s Day, I made Rhubarb Crumb Bars but I swapped out half of the rhubarb and added an equal amount of strawberries. I brought it to my mom’s for lunch and it was a hit. 

“With my remaining rhubarb, I made a compote — I chopped up the rhubarb into inch-long pieces, halved the strawberries and threw them into a pan with some orange juice and sugar to taste. Once it comes to a low boil I let it simmer until thick. This morning I had it on scones and Greek yogurt. It’s also delicious over ice cream or pancakes.”

– Kelly Alfieri, digital editorial director


rhubarb upside down cake

Rhubarb Upside Down Cake

“I like Sarah [Carey]’s Rhubarb Upside Down Cake or the Rhubarb Float with Buttermilk Sorbet. Or just mix it with other berries (raspberries or strawberries) and make a crisp.”

– Jennifer Aaronson, editorial director of food and entertaining

“I like to make a rhubarb simple syrup and keep it on hand for iced tea and cocktails.”

– Regan Dodson, kitchen manager

“Washed, cut, tossed, roasted in olive oil, then (after a while) tossed with turbinado sugar and roasted to caramelize. Serve with ice cream or dollop of yogurt, creme fraiche, whipped cream, mascarpone — something creamy.  Or, with apples in apple pie.”

– Lucinda Scala Quinn, executive editorial director of food and entertaining

 “I’m going with a crumble on this one. When I lived in Pittsburgh, I knew a caterer who made a rhubarb dip to go with her cheesecake bites and if I could re-create that, I’d just throw the crumble out the window.”

– Ashley Little, associate digital features editor

“I roast it in a 350-degree oven for 30 minutes with wine (white, red or white — whatever I have left over) a vanilla bean, and sugar. Then I stir it into Greek yogurt for breakfast or serve it over vanilla ice cream for dessert. It’s a recipe from one of the Canal House cookbooks.”

– Jenny Comita, deputy features editor

“I cut and freeze the rhubarb. During strawberry season we pick our own berries and make a compote for serving on vanilla ice cream.”

– Carl Germann, managing editor

rhubarb raspberry tartlets

Individual Rhubarb and Raspberry Tartlets


Rhubarb and raspberry tartlets!”

– Kris Kurek, senior associate food editor

 “I don’t know how to make these myself, but my parents are from West Virginia and down there it’s HUGE to make both rhubarb pie and rhubarb preserves. Usually they are combined with strawberry. It makes me salivate just thinking about those two things!”

– Robin Sayers, beauty and lifestyle director


What’s your favorite rhubarb treat? You’ll find even more inspiration and plenty of rhubarb recipes in our Seasonal Produce Recipe Guide.

Comments (1)

  • I’m amused to see the reference to rhubarb pie. I grew up in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. My mother often made rhubarb pie, but I have never seen another reference to it.

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