Rhubarb is one of those vegetables people have strong opinions about. Vegetable? That’s right, though a popular pie filling in 18th century Europe, rhubarb belongs to the polygonaceae species, commonly known as the buckwheat or knotweed family and is considered a vegetable.
Most people either love rhubarb or flash a look of disgust at its mention. But did you know there are many varieties of rhubarb? Some mild to sweet in flavor, others mouth-puckering sour. The variety we grow here at Silver Maple Farm tends toward the mild side. In fact, come late June our granddaughter Emma is always eager to pluck a few stalks, often munching a stalk while still out in the field.
Our rhubarb was discovered growing on an old homestead built in the 1920s in Silverton, WA, before the surrounding area was designated as the Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest. Cuttings were taken from the original root stock in the mid-90’s and were certified organic fall of 2019 by Oregon Tilth (our farm’s USDA certifier).
Dubbed the “pie plant” by homemakers over the centuries this versatile veggie is used to make a tart sauce on salmon, to jams, preserves, pies, and crisps. And let’s not forget the health benefits. A half cup of cooked rhubarb contains two grams of fiber, along with vitamins C & K1.
From farm field to scrumptious dessert why not whip up your own culinary treat?
To get you started here’s one of our recipes from the farm.
Preheat oven at 350*. Combine the following ingredients into a greased 8×8” glass dish.
4 ½ cups sliced rhubarb (about ¼” slices)
1 chopped unpeeled apple
1/3 cup sugar
½ teas. cinnamon
½ teas. ground ginger
½ cup flour
1 teas. baking powder
¼ teas. salt
4 ½ Tab. cold butter
2/3 cup dark brown sugar
2/3 cup old fashioned rolled oats
½ teas. cinnamon
½-3/4 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
Combine flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl. Cut in cold butter until mixture forms coarse crumbles. Stir in the rest of the ingredients. Sprinkle over rhubarb mixture. Bake at 350* for 40-50 minutes or until crust is lightly brown. Serve warm or cold, plain or with a dollop of whipped cream or Vanilla Bean ice cream.