How to cook rhubarb

Good Food's Barney Desmazery explains everything you need to know about rhubarb and shows how to prepare rhubarb for the recipe of your choosing.

Points to remember

  • There are two types of rhubarb. Forced, which is grown in the dark, comes out at the end on January and is bright pink and outdoor, which tends to be thicker stemmed and is a brighter red colour.
  • Rhubarb leaves are poisonous and should never be eaten and always thrown away.
  • You want firm, snappable, stalks with no blemishes or signs of bruising.

To bake rhubarb:

  1. Cut it into chunks.
  2. Scatter with sugar, cover with foil and bake in a medium oven for about 15 minutes until soft.

To poach rhubarb:

  1. Cut into sticks.
  2. Scatter with sugar, add a splash of water and simmer gently for 8 minutes until soft and longer to cook it to a puree or compote.

Flavours that pair well with rhubarb are vanilla, ginger, orange and star anise.

See our recipes for stewed rhubarb and rhubarb crumble.  

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