Valley Bounty: Rhubarb

Rhubarb is widely available locally for a relatively short window of time in the spring. Rather than call this a knock against rhubarb, I’d like to point out a potential upside: rhubarb’s short season is an occasion for pie consumption with plausible urgency. Not managing to eat any rhubarb pie, or some pie-adjacent baked good, during rhubarb season would mean missing out, the most feared concept in the American cultural imagination. Rather than risk such a fate, I suggest committing ourselves to the serious and important business of pie-making and -eating. What choice do we really have?

Rhubarb and strawberry seem to have a kind of Batman and Robin thing going when it comes to their appearances in pies, but since it isn’t quite strawberry season, rhubarb is also perfectly capable of flying solo. At the most basic level, it’s as easy as chopping up some rhubarb, tossing it with some sugar (about a cup for every 3 cups of chopped rhubarb) and something to thicken (like flour, cornstarch, or tapioca), and baking it all in a pie crust. You can add in extras like cinnamon, vanilla, orange zest, etc. to give the flavor some depth. Then we can sleep soundly knowing we’ve given rhubarb its due.

Valley Bounty is written by Brian Snell of CISA (Community Involved in Sustaining Agriculture)