Rhubarb is botanically speaking a vegetable, but this bright pink and green stalk, when cooked, takes on a lovely tart-sweet flavor so is most often served like a fruit. It make a great dessert sauce (scooped over or mixed into ice cream), as the base of a tart or shortbread, or even in more savory applications (cooked down with some onions to make a jam for pork chops.)

If there are any greens still on your rhubarb stalks, remove and discard– they are toxic and inedible.

To store

First, wash and dry the stalks, and then cut into 1/2-1″ pieces based on use. Store in the fridge like this, freeze in a single layer on a cookie sheet and keep in a freezer bag, or cook.

To prepare

If you’re making a sweet or savory sauce, the easiest way to prepare it is to make a simple compote: slice the stalks into 1 inch pieces and cover in 1/4-1/2 cup sugar (depending on how sweet you’d like your sauce.) Allow this to sit and begin to release some juices, about 15 minutes. Cook in a skillet until the rhubarb begins to break down. This can also be done in the oven: Roast sugar coated (or maple-syrup tossed) pieces at 325 for 25 minutes, until soft. The oven method retains its shape better.