Savory Rhubarb Recipes | The Nibble Webzine Of Food Adventures - The Nibble Webzine Of Food Adventures Savory Rhubarb Recipes | The Nibble Webzine Of Food Adventures
THE NIBBLE BLOG: Products, Recipes & Trends In Specialty Foods

Also visit our main website,

TIP OF THE DAY: Savory Rhubarb Recipes

We’ve only ever published sweet rhubarb recipes: in compote, pie, preserves, even ice cream. Today’s tip is: Try a savory rhubarb preparation before the end of rhubarb season, typically the end of May in the U.S.

We have a recipe for Green Salad With Roasted Rhubarb, plus links to savory recipes from sides to soups below.

According to, rhubarb is an ancient plant with different species originating in China, Siberia and southwestern Russia. The name comes from the Latin Rhabarbarum, meaning “Rha of the barbarians.”

Rha is the Scythian name for the Volga River in Russia, the longest river in Europe. Rhubarb was cultivated by the Tatars there (“Tartars” is a misspelling), called barbarians—which referred to foreign people who were neither Christian, Greek nor Roman.

Rhubarb has been grown for millennia. Chinese rhubarb (Rheum officinale) was grown for its roots, which were ground up and used medicinally as far back as 206 B.C.E. Garden rhubarb (Rheum rhabarbarum) was grown for its edible stalks (the leaves are toxic).

It was cultivated in Britain in the 17th century and added to stews; with the advent of affordable* sugar in the 18th century, it became a sweetened filling for tarts. (Sugar, originally from India and Southeast Asia, was cultivated in the Middle East in the 12th century, then in other areas of the Mediterranean. European Crusaders brought sugar home with them. It created a stir but was a pricey import, analogous to other Eastern spices. The first printed record of sugar in English is in the late 13th century.)

Rhubarb seeds were imported to America shortly after the American Revolution. The term “pie plant” originated in the U.S. some time during the 19th century. Rhubarb was a popular pie filling and early American cookbooks show rhubarb recipes for cobblers, conserves, sweet pies and tarts.


We adapted this recipe from and added a number of optional ingredients, so you can customize it to your ideal.


  • 1 pound rhubarb
  • 1 head romaine lettuce
  • 1 cup seedless green, purple or red grapes
  • 1 cup of Granny Smith apples, diced
  • 2 medium cucumbers (ideally seedless)
  • 1/2 cup of blue, feta or goat cheese, crumbled
    Beef With Roast Rhubarb

    Chicken With Rhubarb Salsa

    Savory Rhubarb Soup
    Top: Beef tenderloin with roasted rhubarb. Center: Roast chicken with rhubarb salsa. Photos courtesy Bon Appetit. Bottom: Rhubarb soup from La Cucina Italiana.

    Optional Ingredients

  • Beets: halved baby beets or diced regular beets (canned)
  • Fresh dill
  • Peppery greens: arugula or watercress
  • Red onion or sweet onion
  • Toasted pecans or walnuts
    For A Dinner Salad

  • Grilled chicken breast, sliced
  • Grilled salmon fillet

    Fresh Rhubarb

    Rhubarb Salad Recipe
    Top: Slicing fresh rhubarb (photo courtesy Bottom: A recipe variation from SumptuousSpoonfuls. Their recipe roasts the rhubarb with honey and dresses the salad with a Honey Lemon Ginger Vinaigrette.


    For The Roasted Rhubarb Vinaigrette

  • 1/2 the roasted rhubarb
  • 2 tablespoon honey
  • 2 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • Optional: 1 teaspoon poppy seeds or chili flakes


    1. TRIM the tips (including all the leaves) and root ends from the rhubarb. Cut the stalks into 1 inch slices. Place in a greased (spray is fine) baking or roasting pan and roast in the oven at 375°F for 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from oven and cool (in the fridge, if necessary); half will be used for the salad, half for the dressing.

    2. PREPARE the dressing: Place half the rhubarb and all other dressing ingredients in a blender or food processor; blend until completely smooth. Adjust the honey if you need more sweetness.

    3. TOAST the walnuts: Spray a small baking sheet with cooking spray. Set the nuts on the tray in a single layer and toast on the bottom rack of the oven at 400°F for about 5 minutes, or until they are fragrant and slightly browned. Watch them carefully so they don’t burn.

    4. PLACE the vegetables in a large bowl; then add the completely cooled rhubarb and the cheese and toss with the dressing. Garnish with the toasted nuts and serve.


  • Beef Tenderloin With Rhubarb & Red Wine
  • Rhubarb Potato Gratin
  • Rhubarb Butter For Basting Chicken
  • Rhubarb & Radish Salad
  • Rhubarb Salsa
  • Roast Salmon With Rhubarb & Red Cabbage
  • Vietnamese Sour Rhubarb Soup With Rhubarb
    *Sugar originated in Southeast Asia. The people of New Guinea were probably the first to domesticate sugarcane, possibly as early as 8,000 B.C.E. The cane juice from the stalks was used as a sweetener. However, the extraction and purifying technology techniques were developed by people living in India, around 350 C.E.


    Please follow and like us:
    Pin Share

    Comments are closed.

    The Nibble Webzine Of Food Adventures
    Follow by Email

    © Copyright 2005-2023 Lifestyle Direct, Inc. All rights reserved. All images are copyrighted to their respective owners.