Ready for Rhubarb!

It’s rhubarb season!

We are starting to get our first rhubarb in at the market. Some of you may be wondering – “What IS rhubarb”?

Rhubarb is technically a vegetable, but is often used like a fruit. It has a very tart taste and as a result, is often used in sweet recipes. You may have eaten it before in a pie, jam, crisp, or another dessert-y food. 

Rhubarb is a great source of Vitamin C and Calcium, but be careful: only the stalks of the rhubarb are edible. The leaves are poisonous so be sure to discard them without eating or cooking.

Rhubarb is great for preserving. Check out this resource from the Penn State Extension for a detailed guide :

We also found this great recipe from CCE Saratoga which uses rhubarb in a new and unique way – Rhubarb Chili!

You can pick up the onion, ground beef and rhubarb at the market right now. The great thing about chili is that it is so versatile – don’t be afraid to substitute or add in other seasonal veggies.

Rhubarb Chili: A Tangy Twist to a Classic Recipe

2 pounds tomatoes (about 3 cups)

1 large onion, diced

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 pound ground beef (optional)

3 cups low sodium vegetable broth

1/3 cup raisins

1 tablespoon chili powder

1/4 teaspoon allspice

2 cups rhubarb, diced

30 ounces canned black beans

To prepare tomatoes, blanch, remove skin and chop. In a large sauce pan on medium heat, sauté onion and garlic with olive oil and ground beef, if desired. Drain fat, if necessary. Add broth, blanched tomatoes, raisins, chili powder and allspice. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Stir in rhubarb and black beans and simmer for another 15 minutes. Makes 8, 1 ¼ cup servings, 10 servings if made with beef.

Nutrition per serving without beef: 190 calories; 3 g fat; 0 g sat. fat; 9 g protein; 510 mg sodium; 32 g carbohydrate, 9 g fiber. Nutrition bonus: Vitamin C (40% daily value), Iron (15% daily value).