The Q&A Archives: Green rhubarb

Question: How do you know when green rhubarb is ripe and ready to eat? Can it be eaten raw? I have never dealt with green rhubarb only red. Please help. Thanks.

Answer: Rhubarb can be picked and enjoyed as soon as it presents itself to you! I'd wait until the leaves are getting good sized. Immature rhubarb has smaller leaves, but is wonderfully tender and flavorful. So, when the leaves are there and the stems are approximately 6-15 inches long, go ahead and grab that stem close to the base and twist it until it breaks off close to the crown. Use only the stems; remove the leaves as they are toxic! The discarded leaves make great additions to the compost. Rhubarb should be cooked before eaten. Green rhubarb and strawberry pie is delicious, as is stewed rhubarb. You'll find lots of recipes in your favorite cookbook, or check out the latest edition of Joy of Cooking in your local library.

Best wishes with your garden!

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