Before we go ahead let me make it clear that rhubarb isn’t actually a fruit but a vegetable i.e. irrespective of how you cook it or what you add it to. It’s one of the healthiest veggies and easy to cook but only if it’s fresh for which it’s best to grow it at home but that’s not all that easy. So to help you do it we have covered few important tips and tricks.
How to grow it
If you plan to grow rhubarb in your house I would advice you buy a small potted plant from a nursery. Since the plant needs to be regularly watered and also a constant supply of manure is must it’s best placed in a garden and also maintain about 2m of gap as it needs space to grow properly.
Room temperature is very important in this case. The temperature should not be more than 32 degrees. If the temperature goes higher than this the plant won’t grow actively and would enter a dormant state and that’s exactly why it’s mostly grown in the Himalayan regions or during the winter months.
It is advised to start growing this plant only during spring time. Provide it a balanced amount of fertilizers and manure to ensure proper growth but only if composted.
In its natural state the manure tends to be too acidic. To keep up with the moisture and avoid any weeds it is preferred to use Lucerne or mulch rather than any herbicide.
Rhubarb should be watered properly as they are said to be dry plants. In winters it is advised to chop the extra leaves and keep them under at least two layers of compost. This will keep the plant moist and aid growth.
Tips to harvest it
It is advised not to reap in the first year but if you’re running out of patience a little helping is all I would advise and ensure you’re cutting it right.
Chop of only that part of the stem with a sharpened knife that’s ready to be cooked. This way you’ll leave some for further growth and if you’ve grown 4-5 plants trust me you might have enough to last you one whole season.
Also chop off the leaves and the top half of the stalk due to the presence of oxalic acid, a well-known toxin enough to kill someone and not to forget it simply tastes disgusting.
Cooking with it
Rhubarb can be eaten in many ways. It not only tastes delicious but is also packed with medicinal properties. One way to have it is in a stew form or plain curd or custard but my favorite dish remains the rhubarb crumble and is one of the most famous desserts.
You can also cook delicious cakes, pies, pickles and even make wines and jams. Here’s how to make a rhubarb crumble by Gordon Ramsay himself.