The Best Way To Store Rhubarb Is Similar To Celery

With its vibrant red stalks and tangy flavor, rhubarb is a versatile and popular ingredient in both sweet and savory recipes. To make the most of this seasonal delight, proper storage is crucial to maintain its freshness and taste. Surprisingly, the best way to store rhubarb is similar to how you would store celery. With some expert tips, you'll be keeping your rhubarb fresh and delicious for longer.

Rhubarb, scientifically known as Rheum rhabarbarum and sometimes called pieplant, bears a resemblance to celery in appearance. But biting into a stalk of rhubarb is nothing like chomping down on a crisp celery stick. Despite their distinct taste, these two vegetables actually share structural characteristics and water content, leading to the application of similar storage techniques for both.

If you love rhubarb and want it to stay fresh, crisp, and full of flavor, treat it like celery when you get it home from the grocery store or farmers' market. Whatever option you choose, proper storage will help you make the most of this seasonal favorite.

Storing rhubarb, step by step

When selecting fresh rhubarb, choose stalks that are firm and crisp, with vibrant colors. Avoid any that are wilted or have soft spots. To trim and clean, remove any leaves attached to the stalks, as they are toxic and can spoil the rhubarb faster. Trim the ends and wash the stalks thoroughly under cool running water. Pat them dry with a clean towel or paper towel. Then, crimp a sheet of tin foil loosely around the stalks, without totally sealing them in. The foil acts as a protective barrier, preventing moisture loss and maintaining the rhubarb's crispness. Place the wrapped rhubarb in your fridge's vegetable crisper drawer. This method can keep it fresh for two weeks and beyond.

If you have a glut of rhubarb and cannot get to use it all up in time, you can always choose to freeze it instead. Cut the stalks into small pieces and let them freeze on a cooking tray before transferring them to an airtight container or freezer bag. Or, blanch them in boiling water for a minute, then place them in iced water. Transfer the blanched rhubarb into your container of choice, removing as much air as possible. Raw, frozen rhubarb can be stored for up to 3 months, while blanching it before freezing will last you about 6 months. When you want to use it, remove it from the freezer and leave it to thaw at room temperature — perfect for your next rhubarb pie.