It’s rhubarb season! Many people love to eat rhubarb but are completely confused about how to prepare it themselves. I remember the first time I saw a dense display of those long pinkish stalks at the Copley Square farmers' market in Boston. Rhubarb is indeed the stalk of a plant, much like chard or celery, cultivated for thousands of years. The leaves are toxic, but the edible stalk is scrumptious and versatile.
Rhubarb is best when cooked, as the heat reduces much of its tartness. In America, rhubarb is traditionally used in desserts like pies, but it lends itself well to savory preparations like this Indian lentil dish. I've made a rhubarb-mango-ginger jam in which the rhubarb imparted the perfect amount of tartness to the sweet mango base, while the ginger brought a spicy kick. Next I’d like to try it with peaches, strawberries, black pepper, or citrus.
How do you like your rhubarb?
Jenné Claiborne is passionate about helping women adopt and maintain a plant-based diet so they can improve their energy, lose weight, and feel their very best. Founder of The Nourishing Vegan, a New York–based personal chef service, she is also the creator of Sweet Potato Soul, a vegan food blog that features recipes, tips, and cooking videos. In 2013, Jenné launched the 21-Day Vegan Blueprint, an interactive online program that takes the guesswork out of becoming vegan. Follow Jenné on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.