Fresh Rhubarb Roundup

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Rhubarb at the Market Fresh Rhubarb Roundup

Hallelujah! It’s May and Northwest Farmers Markets are overflowing with heavenly field-grown rhubarb. And unlike in the bad-old-days, the bounty will extend well beyond the time the large commercial growers call it quits for the season. Small local growers have taken up the cause and in the process have discovered that they can keep rhubarb growing about as long as customers show enthusiasm for buying it. My own enthusiasm never seems to wane. The absence of fresh rhubarb between October and February just makes the heart grow fonder.

Every spring, I work up a few new rhubarb dishes. And share the best of them with you. In case you missed one or two, I’ve collected them all in this Fresh Rhubarb Roundup. Check out my Fresh Rhubarb Primer, plus  several ways to eat this most distinctive and evocative fruit cum vegetable.

Rhubarb for Sael Pike Place Market Fresh Rhubarb Roundup

Fresh Rhubarb Primer

Everything you need to know, including season, selection, storage, preparation, cooking, and great partners.

Rhubarb and caramel syrup Fresh Rhubarb Roundup

Rhubarb Rose Petal Carmel Sauce + 4 Variations

There’s something magical about the addition of a surprising and complimentary flavor element to an otherwise standard dessert. Fresh fruit syrups elevate nearly any dessert to elegant heights. Add caramel and the effect is out of this world. Plus, I love the subtle dimension that rose petal lends to rhubarb.

Bread Crisps with Wheel of Chevre Brie Spiced Rhubarb Chutney1 Fresh Rhubarb Roundup

Spiced Rhubarb Chutney

This russet-red chutney is sweet, tart, spicy, and addictively delicious. I especially love it with Seeded Bread Crisps topped with a creamy brie or fresh chèvre, or as an accompaniment to a savory cheesecake.

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Apple Cider-Brined Tenderloin of Pork with Rhubarb Deglazing Sauce

The sweet flavor of pork has a natural affinity with acidic fruit flavors, as in this rhubarb-cider sauce, and with spices, such as allspice and cloves, which are used here in an apple cider brine. The key to this dish is in not overcooking the pork; it should be nicely rosy in the center, very juicy and tender.

Cut Shot 2 Fresh Rhubarb Roundup

Rhubarb Cardamom Lime Muffins

Muffins don’t get any better than this. The texture is tender and open, with sweet/tart rhubarb goodness throughout. Plus, there is just something magical about the combination of cardamom, lime, and rhubarb. To balance the tart bursts of rhubarb on the palate, the caramelized streusel topping is a must. Don’t even think about leaving it out.

rhubarb and apple crisp with fork e1335123893142 Fresh Rhubarb Roundup

Spring Rhubarb & Apple Crisp with Toasted Hazelnut Streusel

This crisp combines the last of the Northwest apples (from winter cold storage) and the first of the spring field-rhubarb crop. It’s a perfect marriage, because the apples lend body to the crisp (rhubarb disintegrates when cooked) and the rhubarb boosts the flavor of the apples by several notches. Rhubarb has a natural affinity for caramel, thus I use all brown sugar for the sweetener here. Lime, cardamom, cloves, hazelnuts, and vanilla ice cream are additional flavors that work magic with rhubarb, and they are all here in this wonderful dessert.

Rhubarb upside down cake serving Fresh Rhubarb Roundup

Rhubarb Cornmeal Upside-Down Cake

I can’t decide if I prefer this cake upside-down with the pale pink, glistening rhubarb on top or upside-up with the lovely browned cake on top. I leave it to your discretion. Whatever you decide, upon your first bite of this anise-scented, tender cake, you won’t care how it looks on the plate. The ethereally light texture of this cake is the result of the proportions of the ingredients but also, I believe, of the steam that is created from the sauce at the bottom of each ramekin.

Toast cream cheese and orange marmalade e1331267982768 Fresh Rhubarb Roundup

Rhubarb, Tangelo & Cardamom Marmellata

This flavor combination is made in heaven. The Marmellata is intentionally on the softly set side, so that it can be used as a sauce, as well as a jam. It’s so delicious that you will be tempted to slather it on everything.

Rhubarb at Portland Farmers Market May 09 2 Fresh Rhubarb Roundup  There’s more on my Rhubarb Roundup Pinterest Board.

Cookin’ with Gas (rhubarb inspiration from around the web)


Copyright 2014 Susan S. Bradley. All rights reserved.

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About Susan S. Bradley

Intrepid cook, food writer, culinary instructor, author of Pacific Northwest Palate: Four Seasons of Great Cooking, and founder of the Northwest Culinary Academy.


  1. Mmm, I love rhubarb. It always reminds me of summer at grandma’s house. That Rhubarb Cornmeal Upside-Down Cake looks divine.

  2. My favorite rhubarb dish is strawberry rhubarb crumble!
    Elizabeth´s last blog post ..Chicken and Asparagus RisottoMy Profile

  3. You are so right. I just spent the weekend in Seattle, and it was being taken over by rhubarb! I was also surprised at how inexpensive it was. $1.99 a pound? In San Diego, it’s usually $5 a pound. But it’s worth it. Like you say, it’s a seasonal treasure. And thanks for including a link to my rhubarb sponge pudding!

  4. $1.99 a pound!? So jealous…just whipped up a batch of Rhubarb-Ginger Sorbet and I was pleased as punch that the local grocer had it for $2.99 a pound. Great round up!
    Feast on the Cheap´s last blog post ..Sweet-Tart Rhubarb and Ginger SorbetMy Profile

  5. Thank you for featuring my recipe! You have a lotta good rhubarb here! It is the season again.
    Sarah Galvin (All Our Fingers in the Pie)´s last blog post ..Wild Boar Ribs with Basmati RiceMy Profile

  6. Fun post! Rhubarb is my favorite. I think I will be trying the muffins…cardamom is another favorite!
    Kate´s last blog post ..And Now for the Bacon-Simmered Pinto Beans!My Profile

  7. Mary-beth says:

    OH BOY!! I can’t wait to get started on trying these GEMS!!! Mary-beth

    • Hi Mary-beth! Let me know how they turn out for you. Working on some new concepts too that I will share in the weeks ahead. One I think you will like is Lavender Chevre Panna Cotta with a Rhubarb Sauce and Basil Sauce. I created it last spring, but the photos were washed out, so need to retest and reshoot. And then eat it of course. heh heh…

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