Step aside, strawberries! It's rhubarb's time to shine this year. Come spring, after dreaming of produce like arugula, strawberries, and peaches all winter, we are always on the hunt for ingredients that'll instantly perk up anything from desserts to salads. And nothing does that better than rhubarb. The super tart vegetable (yep, not a fruit, even though it is usually served in a sweet setting) is one of our favorites for its bright beautiful color and unique flavor (that goes oh so well in our rhubarb cake, for one). Try one of our 16 rhubarb recipes and see for yourself!
You may have heard that rhubarb is poisonous, so we’re here to set the record straight: yes, the leaves of rhubarb are mildly toxic, but the likelihood you’ll even encounter them is super rare. Even at the farmers market, we usually see the pink stalks already prepared for consumption. Though they look kind of like celery (and even are sometimes a similar shade of pale green only tinged with pink), you probably wouldn’t want to eat them on their own—they’re extremely sour. Instead, pair them with lots of sugar and enjoy them as a dessert, like in our rhubarb pie or rhubarb crisp.
Because they show up seasonally around the same time, and rhubarb desperately needs a sweet pal, strawberry is often paired with this tart veg, like in our strawberry rhubarb pie. If you’ve got extra rhubarb, try pairing it with one of our myriad other strawberry desserts too!
Rhubarb is strikingly beautiful, and this cake shows it off well. The stalks bake right into the cake, becoming soft and jammy, and surrounded by a crunchy sugary crust. It’s quick and simple–more like a snacking cake–meaning you can eat it with your hands if you so desire.
Get the Rhubarb Cake recipe.
Strawberry Rhubarb Pie
Made with a double batch of our favorite pie dough recipe, this pie showcases the pretty pink hues of rhubarb and strawberry as they peek out from under the golden lattice. If you're intimidated by lattice crusts, don't be! Keep your strips of pie dough well chilled until you're ready to assemble for the best results.
Get the Strawberry Rhubarb Pie recipe.
Pavlova with Rhubarb, Strawberries, and Fresh Cream
Pavlova is a meringue-based dessert with a crispy shell and a soft, marshmallow-y center. It's traditionally topped with whipped cream and fruit; this version uses an almond-scented whipped cream and an Amaretto-spiked strawberry-rhubarb compote and it's a spring dessert you're going to want to have on repeat.
Get the Pavlova with Rhubarb, Strawberries, and Fresh Cream recipe.
Rhubarb Upside Down Cake
This rhubarb upside-down cake is an elegant spring cake that showcases absolutely stunning fresh seasonal fruits. No need to sweat over frosting or fiddle with a lazy Susan! With effortless beauty and incomparable flavor, this cake is ready to eat after it’s flipped out of the pan (with fresh whipped cream, perhaps?)
Get the Rhubarb Upside Down Cake recipe from The Pioneer Woman.
Rhubarb and Citrus Salad with Black Pepper Vinaigrette
Camille Lowder is the digital food producer at Delish, otherwise known as our resident queen of recipe galleries. Previously, she attended the Natural Gourmet Institute for culinary school and worked at/managed a number of New York restaurants. She loves anything , foods masquerading as other foods (hello, ), and a well-used Oxford comma.
Mackenzie Filson is a food writer and contributing digital food producer at Delish. Her favorite ice cream flavor is chocolate-pine. If wine was an astrological sign she'd be a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc. She's never met a bag of Spicy Sweet Chili Doritos she didn't eat in one sitting.