Thursday, May 10, 2012

The RHU to the BARB! A gorgeous, yet edible plant!

A few weeks ago during my excursion to Jello Mold Farm with some friends, we carpooled and met up at a home with a most cozy and inviting garden that yielded some of the best rhubarb I've ever witness in person. I say "best" simply based on appearance as I rarely eat the thing, but the bright red stems were absolutely GORGEOUS!

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 The gigantically lush, deep green foliage, which you DO NOT EAT!, were held up by their luscious ruby red stalks that were generously harvested for all of us to enjoy. The foliage contains oxalic acid which can cause kidney of bladder stones and while it takes like 10 pounds of leaves eaten in one sitting to cause death, it's still recommended that the foliage be removed prior to processing.

I've always grown Ornamental rhubarb for my perennial borders for their massive size, but the edible "pie-plant" appears just as striking, but with the added benefit that the stems are wonderful in pies, crumbles/crisps, and savory sauces. So I had to find a recipe for the bundle I was given that lovely afternoon.

Rhubarb and strawberry are a classic pair so I decided to make a pie with a oatmeal crumble topping:

Here's a recipe from that I modified a but, but it's simple and, yes, I cheated and bought a pre-made crust to make it a pie and not just a crumble.



  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups sliced fresh strawberries
  • 3 cups diced rhubarb
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 cup rolled oats


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
  2. In a large bowl, mix white sugar, 3 tablespoons flour, strawberries, and rhubarb. Place the mixture in a 9x13 inch baking dish.
  3. Mix 1 1/2 cups flour, brown sugar, butter, and oats until crumbly. You may want to use a pastry blender for this. Crumble on top of the rhubarb and strawberry mixture.
  4. Bake 45 minutes in the preheated oven, or until crisp and lightly browned.

Then I wanted to try something savory using a sauce to compliment roast pork or chicken. Here's a recipe from



  • 4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1-1 1/4 pounds pork tenderloin, trimmed
  • 1 large sweet onion, sliced
  • 2-4 tablespoons water
  • 2 cups diced rhubarb
  • 1/4 cup red-wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh chives


  1. Preheat oven to 450°F.
  2. Mix 1 teaspoon oil, coriander, 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper in a small bowl. Rub the mixture into pork. Heat 1 teaspoon oil in a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Add the pork and cook, turning occasionally, until brown on all sides, 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer the pan to the oven and roast the pork until an instant-read thermometer registers 145°F, 15 to 17 minutes. Let rest 5 minutes before slicing.
  3. Meanwhile, heat the remaining 2 teaspoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add onion and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt; cook, stirring occasionally, until browned, 7 to 8 minutes. Add 2 tablespoons water; continue cooking, stirring often, until the onion is soft, 5 to 7 minutes more, adding water a tablespoon at a time if necessary to prevent burning. Stir in rhubarb, vinegar and brown sugar and cook, stirring often, until the rhubarb has broken down, about 5 minutes. Spoon the sauce over the sliced pork and sprinkle with chives.




  1. Who's that pretty lady harvesting Rhubarb? I made a crisp too and it was delicous! Great photo of you and the red stalks, Riz...

  2. Jade, that pretty and mysterious lady is a very generous friend I didn't ask if I could post her pic on my blog so I tried to select photos that didn't quite reveal her lovely face. LOL!! Thanks for taking that last pic, btw! That was such a fun afternoon!

  3. What kind of Rhubarb is it? It doesn't look like mine. Please tell.