Rhubarb Harvest

I bought a year old crown of ‘Timperley early rhubarb last year. Once planted I pretty much ignored it, allowing it to establish. Although it is very tempting to harvest new rhubarb plants you shouldn’t, otherwise it could weaken the plant. This season my rhubarb is looking very healthy and has tripled in size. I have just taken my first light harvest, only a few stems – enough to make a small crumble.

Faithful followers of my blog will know that I am not a cook, in fact I’m pretty rubbish. Still, I ventured into the kitchen, modest rhubarb harvest tucked under my arm and made a damn good crumble with it. Now, I don’t know if it was the particularly recipe that I followed, or if it was the fresh rhubarb that made it taste so good, either way it was very tasty indeed. I won’t harvest the rhubarb again until the following year, giving the plant time to recover and produce more healthy stems.

What is your favourite rhubarb dish?

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7 comments

  1. Add a few strawberries, a teaspoon of grated ginger and a desertspoon of redcurrant jelly to the rhubarb before putting the crumble on top. When cooked, decorate with a pretty strawberry cut into a fan shape and a small sprig of mint. Attractive enough for your poshest dinner party and really delicious.

  2. Here’s one we tried out and loved.

    Rhubarbarita

    From The Way We Garden Now: 41 Pick-and-Choose Projects for Planting Your Paradise Large or Small by Katherine Whiteside (Clarkson Potter. 2007). Copyright 2007 by Katherine Whiteside.

    I adore making rhubarb pies (I prefer mine without strawberries and with a made-from-scratch crust.) But sometimes a girl needs something a little stronger than pie to get through the rest of the day. This is an especially nice way to celebrate a birthday that falls during rhubarb season. Mine is June 3rd, the height of rhubarb season and here is how I make birthday Rhubarbaritas:

    To make the juice:

    Fresh organic rhubarb, as much as you have, cut into rough chunks
    Simple syrup (2 parts water to one part sugar, boiled until sugar dissolves and liquid is clear)
    1. Place rhubarb chunks in saucepan and cover completely with simple syrup. Simmer until rhubarb falls into threads.

    2. Cool in saucepan, then pour into cheesecloth draped in a strainer placed over a bowl. Allow to drip and then squeeze the last of the juice out of the rhubarb pulp.

    3. Store juice in a bottle in the refrigerator until a Rhubarbarita urge strikes.

    To celebrate that Rhubarbarita urge:

    1. Put lots of crushed ice in a tumbler.

    2. On top of the ice, pour equal amounts of rhubarb juice and a tasty tequila like Patron Gold. I suggest that this is not the moment to be shy or to go light

    3. Stir and adjust sweetness level by squeezing fresh lime into the glass.

    4. Sip, sing “Happy Birthday” really loudly, and kiss everybody at your party.

    5. For the adorable little kiddies at the party, add rhubarb juice to fresh lemonade for a fun, non-alcoholic drink.

    We also freeze the juice so we can use it when rhubarb is not in season.

  3. Hi Karen – we tried a lovely Rhubarb and Cinnamon cake this year and this week we started off some Rhubarb Schnapps! Can’t wait for it to mature so we can see how it turns out.

  4. Mary – the recipe I followed said to add ginger, it was very yummy! I like the sound of your favourite dish, thanks!

    Michael – thank you so much for the recipe!

    Wider Sky- well now, Nettle fizz and now rhubarb schnapps! Sounds good to me ;)

  5. I planted Raspberry Red Rhubarb last year. I have picked two stems from it this year because although I read that you should leave it for two years I was unable to resist. My favourite rhubarb recipe is….. break the leaf off and put it in the compost, return to the kitchen and cut the heely, bottomy thing off whilst washing it, finally go and sit in the sunshine eating it while the dog dribbles on your leg because he thinks he’s getting some. When I was a little girl I used to dip the raw rhubarb into a cup containing sugar, diabetes and healthy eating means forgoing the sugar but it still has to be raw and in the garden.

  6. Hello Kay

    You can harvest your rhubarb the following year of planting a one year old crown, just do a very light harvest and it will be fine. After that you can increase how many stems you take.

    Love your description!

  7. I am so jealous of your Rhubarb. I have to hold out until July to be able to buy some crowns and then I suppose like you I will have to play the waiting game before I can harvest some. So sorry to read about your poor Lizzy. I am sure she is scratching around up in “Chook Heaven” having a clucking good time.

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