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Your Small Kitchen Garden Rhubarb: IT IS ON!

My first harvest of rhubarb from my small kitchen garden in 2010 went into sauce that in turn went into quick bread (baking as I type this). My family will complain about it at dinner, and there’ll be plenty for me to enjoy; of the five of us, only two like rhubarb.

It’s on? Yes! Kitchen gardening season is in full-tilt in my small kitchen garden. By that I mean there’s good stuff to eat coming out of my garden. When I surveyed the weeds the other day, I found a few surprises (OK, I kind of expected to find these, but it’s always a rush anyway).

Volunteer herbs in the kitchen garden

First, there was the frilly groundcover directly below where my biggest dill plant stood last season. The frills are volunteer dill weed that must have popped several weeks ago, and could already season a good mid-summer potato salad or two or three.

Second, there is a nice crop of cilantro that also started from seeds of last year’s plants. Cilantro is among my three favorite herbs, and among my favorite uses of cilantro is to add it to guacamole. So… I picked up two avocados at the flea market yesterday, and I expect to make guacamole before the weekend (the avocados need to ripen another day or two).


I’ve been getting dirty with rhubarb for about three weeks already as I dug up and moved six plants from a friend’s yard to mine. From those plants, I set nine rhubarb roots; three to fill out my meager rhubarb patch, and six more to start a new patch where I hope the drainage is better so the plants don’t die back during wet seasons (after last year’s non-stop rain, my rhubarb plants have shrunk considerably).

Today I harvested a modest handful of rhubarb stalks. These I immediately made into sauce. I’ll eat some of it as sauce, but I’m going to use the rest to make a sweet quick bread.

This idea comes from my friend Jean Ann Van Krevelen who put me onto a rhubarb bread recipe last spring. I liked that recipe, but wanted to experiment a bit. Sadly, I had a modest rhubarb crop last year and simply didn’t have enough for such a project.

With nine plants, I think I’ll have enough rhubarb in coming years to do all the rhubarb-related cooking I could want. This year I can’t predict; at least seven of the new plantings won’t produce well, and I don’t want to strain them by harvesting. I’ll get what I can from the rest of the plants, and let you know if I come up with anything worth sharing.

In the meantime, here are some posts I hope you’ll peruse for information about growing and using rhubarb from your own small kitchen garden.

How to plant rhubarb

How to harvest rhubarb and make sauce

How to make strawberry-rhubarb pie

Here are a few ways you might cook with rhubarb:

  • Tigers & Strawberries » First Pie of the Season: Strawberry … – First Pie of the Season: Strawberry Rhubarb Crumble Pie. I know that last month, I promised as the strawberries came into season, to write about a bunch of recipes that used them while they were at their peak of flavor …

  • Londonist Makes: Rhubarb Recipes | Londonist – We at Londonist try to cook with seasonal vegetables where possible and a trip to Borough Market early on Saturday (always go early before the gastro-porn tourists arrive, or on a Thursday when many of the stalls are now open) saw us staggering home with armloads of rhubarb. This long, pink creature is one of complexities. It is actually a vegetable yet we choose to use it as a fruit and it’s silky texture when cooked, belies its mouth-puckering tartness if not sweetened.

  • Savory + Sweet: Pork Tenderloin with Onion-Rhubarb Jam « Je Mange … – jwa snacks on bread while I document the food… This is a recipe based on one in the new issue of Eating Well, a magazine that I eagerly await each time it comes out (every other month?) I changed the cardamom to thyme, …

  • Crispy Tofu Kabobs with Rhubarb Chutney – vegalicious recipes … – Crispy Tofu Kabobs with Rhubarb Chutney. Print This Post. The sweet sour rhubarb chutney tasted great with the crispy tofu kabobs. The sweet sour rhubarb chutney tasted great with the crispy tofu kabobs. (Harald Walker …

  • Banana Rhubarb Smoothie – vegalicious recipes – more than 500 … – With rhubarb coming into season now, we are happy to enjoy this tasty vegetable in many different ways. It is often combined with banana to bring a sweetness to the tart taste of the rhubarb. …

One Response to “Your Small Kitchen Garden Rhubarb: IT IS ON!”

  • Even people that don’t like rhubarb like cherry rhubarb jam! I have so much rhubarb it’s ridiculous. I will take any and all rhubarb recipes for consideration. At this point I am just chopping and freezing, to build up my supply for jam. I make jam later in the year when I have more time. I look forward to reading your other rhubarb posts.

    I have volunteer dill, and something else (watermelon?), and volunteer tomatoes everywhere (IN IOWA, in early May, who’d thunk?), and oh yes, volunteer lettuce, and oh, also volunteer sunflowers. Lol…I think that is it.

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