WTF Do I Do With Rhubarb?

By Betchy Crocker

If you fancy yourself a culinary betch, knowledgeable in the ways of both cooking and baking, then you’re pretty fucking comfortable in the kitchen, with any number of ingredients.

However, there are some ingredients that we just can’t get our fucking heads around, which brings us to rhubarb. This pink celery looking bullshit has been sneaking its way into pies and tarts for years, and it’s high time we looked into just wtf it is and how we, too, can master its usage.

First off, rhubarb is mostly available in the spring and early summer months, hence the coupling with May produce like strawberries. Importantly, rhubarb is a fucking vegetable, but a New York court in 1947 decided “lol fuck rules” and declared it a fruit – mostly to battle taxes and shit on produce. Cooking it usually means adding a lot of fucking sugar, since, on their own, those stalks are pretty fucking tart. People also pickle it or throw it into savory dishes but, like, why would you?

So, how can you cook with it? It isn’t as bad as we thought. Here’s a recipe we adapted from Barefoot Betch, Ina Garten, for strawberry rhubarb crisp, because pie is overdone.


  • 4 cups fresh rhubarb, 1-inch diced (4 to 5 stalks)
  • 4 cups fresh strawberries, hulled and halved, if large
  • 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp grated orange zest
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 cup quick-cooking (not instant) oatmeal
  • 12 tbsps (1 1/2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, diced

Preheat the oven to 350F. Toss the rhubarb, strawberries, and ¾ cup of the sugar and the orange zest together in a big bowl. In a separate cup or tiny bowl, dissolve the cornstarch in the orange juice and then mix into the fruit. Pour the fruit concoction into a baking dish, set aside.

For the topping, mix together the flour, remaining sugar, brown sugar, salt, and oatmeal with the cold butter until the mixture is in crumbles and the ingredients are moist (god I hate that word). Sprinkle the topping over the fruit, covering it completely, and then bake for like an hour or until the fruit is bubbling and the top is golden.

If you’re a fatass, you can top this with ice cream.





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