May 13, 2024

18 Rhubarb Recipes for Your Early Spring Harvest

The month of May signifies the opening of Johnson Island on Burntside Lake. It’s also the time to harvest hearty rhubarb stalks, which means it’s time for rhubarb pies, rhubarb syrup, and rhubarb custard bars (we are in Minnesota don’t ya know). If you don’t have your own rhubarb plant, you surely have a friend, neighbor, or family member with one, and you should get your hands on some stalks to make all things rhubarb because the season doesn’t last long. Here are my 18 favorite rhubarb recipes for your early summer harvest.

How To Grow Rhubarb

  • Rhubarb is easy to grow. It requires cold weather to thrive, which is why it’s so abundant in Minnesota and is one of the first plants to harvest in the spring.
  • While rhubarb thrives in full sun and well-drained soil, it can tolerate shade and the wet/dry spells we get in Minnesota.
  • If you have a young plant, you’ll need to wait at least until the second year to harvest the stalks.
  • As always, the U of MN Extension Office has great tips on growing rhubarb.

How to Use Rhubarb In Recipes

  • The reason you find rhubarb in so many sweets is it’s bitterness. The sour flavor is a nice component in sweet dishes, and you need to sugar to handle the sourness.
  • Only the stalk is edible, and you should wait until they are nice and thick to harvest.
  • Sugar is a must to balance bitterness of rhubarb. Raw rhubarb is fibrous and much too sour.

Video Tutorial: Rhubarb Custard bars

Ready to start making rhubarb favorites? Check out this tutorial on one of my most popular recipes, rhubarb custard bars. And subscribe to my YouTube channel so you never miss a recipe! I also have a video of my rhubarb cookies recipe. Or choose a favorite recipe from the list below.

Rhubarb Recipes