Rhubarb is a cool-season perennial plant with a taste somewhat similar to green apples - which is to say, it’s tart. It is a member of the buckwheat family and, botanically speaking, it's a vegetable, not a fruit! The leaves are not eaten because they contain a certain amount of acidity that could be toxic. The stems are most commonly sweetened and used in pies, sauces, cobblers, and compotes, although savory dishes also abound.
It is packed with minerals, vitamins, organic compounds, and other nutrients that make it ideal for maintaining health. and is often eaten to promote regularity. The earliest records of it date back to China in 2700 BC, where it was used for medicinal purposes. Rhubarb is often prepared with strawberries because of the lovely pairing of tart and sweet they offer. Here’s an easy recipe for our Rhubarb-Strawberry Compote that features the tartness of rhubarb and Granny Smith apples, the sweetness and vibrant color of strawberries, and the warmth and spice of ginger.
Thanks to North Dakota State University and Iowa State University for rhubarb plant photos.
Verdant Kitchen® products used in this recipe