If rhubarb were on the childhood playground, it would definitely get beaten up. It has a funny name and one that doesn't place it in any family, like the tight knit and well thought of berry family. Put "berry" on the end of straw, rasp and blue, and you got instant fruit cred, which brings me to rhubarb's identity complex. Rhubarb is actually a vegetable, but acts like a fruit. Most cooking methods include sweet combinations that make for a nice dessert.
Rhubarb is also ripe for bullying since it stands long and firm, but wilts to mush at the first sign of heat. It does, however, have powerful leaves that are actually poisonous, so don't mess with them, or of course eat them. Luckily there is a happy ending to this overlooked, misunderstood vegetable. Rhubarb is good for digestion, is believed to help with metabolism and weight loss, and is high in vitamins and fiber.
Raw rhubarb is a bit of an acquired taste. It's very tart so needs some sweetening, but I didn't want to use loads of sugar so I included just a sprinkling along with the juice of a fresh orange to brighten the flavor. This kept things light and even breakfast ready to throw on top of yogurt with some almonds sprinkled on top, and I also enjoyed using it like a chutney on poultry.
So tease this tart, plant as much as you want, but rhubarb ends up being quite the versatile player that gets along with everyone.
- 1 pound fresh rhubarb
- 1/4 cup sugar
- Juice of an orange
- Preheat the oven to 400F.
- Cut the rhubarb into 1" pieces and place in a long pyrex dish
- Sprinkle sugar and orange juice over rhubarb, mix and allow to stand for 5 minutes
- Cover the dish with foil and place in the oven for 10-15 minutes until sugar is combined. Remove foil and cook about another 5 minutes, until the mixture is bubbly.
- Serve over yogurt, ice cream or even poultry. Garnish with nuts if desired.