Rhubarb – A Year Round Delight!

Rhubarb plant growing in garden
Mature rhubarb plant in garden

We love rhubarb!  When it arrives in late spring we know summer is just around the corner.
Lori eagerly awaits the first harvest of the season. Lots of red stalks waiting to be picked and eaten.

There are many recipes one can make with this seasonal plant…pies, breads, muffins!  One of our guest favorites at the Franklin Street Inn is Rhubarb Tapioca Pudding. It’s a light refreshing creation, easy to make, and can be kept in the refrigerator up to 10 days.  At the Inn we serve it as a fruit side dish at breakfast, but this treat could also be used as an afternoon treat or topping on ice cream!  We are including our recipe here for you to enjoy at home.

Rhubarb Tapioca Pudding Recipe

Rhubarb Tapioca Pudding in green glass dessert cup with fresh strawberries in foreground and Reddi Wip can in background

1 c. sugar                                     2 ½ c. sliced rhubarb

½ tsp. salt                                  1 c. crushed pineapple, drained

2 c. water                                    Fresh strawberries for garnish (opt.)

1/3 c. instant tapioca               Whipped cream to garnish (opt)

Directions:

In a large saucepan, stir together the sugar, tapioca and salt.  Stir in the rhubarb and water.  Cook over medium heat, stirring often, until the rhubarb is tender and the mixture is thickened (about 15 minutes).  Remove from heat and add pineapple.  Add red food coloring (about 3 drops) if desired.  This improves the color and presentation of the dish.  Chill until ready to serve.  Serves 8.

Rhubarb Tapioca Pudding in green cut-glass dessert cup placed on red tablecloth dining table. Blue decorative candle and feather in background.To serve: slice strawberries (one per serving).  Place pudding in each serving bowl and top with strawberry slices.  A dollop of whipped cream on top and you are ready to serve! For a fancier presentation, arrange strawberry slices like flower petals and the whip cream as the center of the flower.

Freezing Rhubarb

As the summer wears on we continue to pick rhubarb to prepare, freeze and use throughout the colder months.  Freezer preparation of rhubarb is easy. First, cut the leaves and any white roots off the stalk.  Then thoroughly rinse off any dirt and chop the stalks into about 1 inch chunks. Place in your favorite freezer containers and store in your freezer.  We put the rhubarb chunks in gallon freezer bags, filling the bags about three quarters full so they lay fairly flat when stored in the freezer.

Freezing Tip:

Spread the rhubarb in a single layer on a baking sheet and freeze for about an hour prior to placing in freezer bags or containers. This helps prevent the chunks from sticking together in clumps when freezing, which makes it easier to measure and use only what you need for a recipe. Otherwise you may have to thaw a whole bag or large clumps for use.