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Eatsy: Poached Rhubarb and Springtime Spritzer

May 26, 2010

by kittykatherine handmade and vintage goods

Once a week Etsy worker bees gather ’round our handmade farm tables to dig into seasonal dishes. We call this gathering Eatsy, and it’s, by far, the best day at the office. Kitty Greenwald, cook and author, makes these dishes from scratch and the menu changes weekly. Eatsy’s objectives are simple: apply Etsy’s handmade values to food and provide the Brooklyn crew with a nourishing, communal meal. This is no different than what many of you do with friends and family in your homes. Eatsy strives to create a similar environment in the workplace, and we want to give you all a taste of Kitty’s amazing cooking. Here she is to share her tips for sourcing locally grown food and a recipe to boot.

It’s reasonable to approach rhubarb cautiously. I think of it as the femme fatale of vegetables: lanky, lean and dangerous. Rhubarb has poisonous leaves and a stalk that isn’t, but — if eaten raw — tastes like it could be. Unapologetically sour, raw rhubarb is completely unpalatable (although rumors of a delicious Middle Eastern salad with rhubarb have circulated). And while she may not give immediately, when handled sweetly, rhubarb returns the favor with a seductive and distinct sweet-tart bite. Often a favorite for pie fillings and jams, rhubarb suits any number of dishes — see some examples here.


Treat rhubarb as you would any acidic ingredient: cook it in a non-reactive pan and pair it with desserts, fish or meat. Thanks to its twang, rhubarb balances dishes nicely and pairs particularly well with fatty, roundly flavored foods like buttery pie crusts and fatty foie gras. Plus, what beats that beautiful pink color? No vegetable I’ve seen.

Late spring is rhubarb boom time. Before summer tree fruit replaces it take advantage of the sassy lass. Below you’ll find tips and an easy recipe to help you along.

How to handle:

  • Despite her bite, rhubarb is easy to prepare. Discard any traces of leaves from the top of the stalks; trim away the rough, browned butts, rinse and pat dry.
  • Be warned that when poaching rhubarb it can quickly turn to mush. To keep it intact, cook for a minute or two and stand by with a slotted spoon and a large dish on the side. Once just cooked and tender transfer the rhubarb to the dish. Baking rhubarb with just a bit of liquid and sugar minimizes the mush factor, but takes a bit longer.
  • Rhubarb plays well with others. Add cardamom, cinnamon, vanilla bean, peppercorns, caraway seeds or fresh herbs, like thyme, basil or lemon verbena, to your pot for flavor variations.
  • Rhubarb comes in red, green and intermediate shades depending on its variety. To keep the red vibrant color, minimize both the cooking time and the cooking liquid.

Poached RhubarbEatsy_chopped1.jpg
Serves 6-8

2 lbs. rhubarb
2 cups water (for an adult version, use wine instead)
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 tbs. whole cardamom seeds

Trim, clean and dry the rhubarb stalks. Cut them into 2-inch matchsticks and set aside.

Add the water, sugar and cardamom seeds to a deep pot and bring to a boil. Stir once.

Once the sugar is dissolved, about 2-3 minutes, add half the rhubarb and reduce to a simmer. Place a dish next to the stove. When the rhubarb is just tender*, about 2 minutes, use a slotted spoon to transfer the stalks to the dish. Repeat with the remaining rhubarb.

*If you overcook the rhubarb, don’t despair. It tastes delicious anyhow. Slather it over toast, pie crust or swirl it into ice cream.

Continue to simmer the poaching liquid for 3-5 minutes. Place a sieve over a bowl and pour the liquid through.

To go the dessert route: Place the stalks in serving dishes and spoon some cooking liquid over top. Serve with sweetened crème fraiche, vanilla ice cream or Greek yogurt.


Springtime Spritzer
Serves 1

Juice 1 orange. Add 1/4 cup of the cooled rhubarb poaching liquid (see above). Top with seltzer. Serve with ice cubes and, if you’re feeling fancy, garnish with a citrus slice, thyme or mint sprig.

For cocktails add a tablespoon or two of poaching liquid to your champagne flute and top with bubbly. For something stronger, stir some into your greyhound.

** The rhubarb seen here came from the Fort Green Farmer’s Market in Brooklyn, NY.

About Kitty Greenwald, a cook and food writer living in Brooklyn:

I’ve cooked in New York, California, France, Italy and Portugal, been involved in Slow Food Nation, The Smithsonian Folk Life Festival: Food Culture USA, curated Slow Film Night at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts and am currently collaborating with the great Grahame Weinbren for the SJ01 Biennial. I’ve written and contributed recipes to Real Simple, National Geographic’s Food Journeys of a Lifetime and the San Jose Mercury News. My first cookbook (just released!), Life’s Too Short to Chop Onions, published by Reader’s Digest, is a collection of handy-dandy easy recipes — you can find it on Amazon or through an independent bookseller. Happily, part of my week is devoted to Eatsy, a locally sourced and seasonal meal that I plan and prepare for the good people of Etsy. Here on the Blog, I’ll share recipes and chat with you about all things homemade and edible.

Do you support your local farmers’ market? Tell us about your recipes in the comments
and share links to Flickr photos. Let’s make everyone hungry!

Plants and Edibles Category

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Strawberry \/ Rhubarb Whole Fruit Spread
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Antique Ice Cream Churn
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Wisconsin Rhubarb Jam
Strawberry Rhubarb Pie Whipped Soap  8 oz jar
Strawberry Rhubarb Pie Whipped Soap 8 oz jar
1\/4 Pound Green Cardamom Pods
1\/4 Pound Green Cardamom Pods
Slice of Heaven, original oil on wood panel by Amy Schrom
Slice of Heaven, original oil on wood panel by Amy Schrom
Lovely English Thyme Garden Seeds Organic HEIRLOOM Seed
Lovely English Thyme Garden Seeds Organic HEIRLOOM Seed
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Juice-O-Mat Awesome Industrial Atomic Space Age Shape


  • LilaJo

    LilaJo said 6 years ago


  • LilaJo

    LilaJo said 6 years ago

    Yummm sound delicious!

  • MollCutpurse

    MollCutpurse said 6 years ago

    That looks fantastic!

  • outofline

    outofline said 6 years ago

    Poached rhubarb, a blast from the past! Thanks:)

  • janinebasil

    janinebasil said 6 years ago

    Oh god, my mouth is watering so much now! lol I absolutely LOVE rhubarb!

  • mmsomewhere

    mmsomewhere said 6 years ago

    i love rhubarb ~i ask for it everywhere i go but alas no one ever has it ~awsome to see it on a pedestal :D

  • CarryTheWord

    CarryTheWord said 6 years ago

    Thanks for these great recipes!

  • Ayca

    Ayca said 6 years ago

    Looks beautiful!

  • allthingswhite

    allthingswhite said 6 years ago

    This takes me back to my grandma's Rhuberry Kuchen recipe, I still make it at least once a year!

  • sarahknightdesign

    sarahknightdesign said 6 years ago

    oh my gosh! this looks amazing! One thing that is my favorite thing about summer is all the amazing fruit and summery drinks that are so refreshing. I'll definitely be trying out these recipes:)

  • diamondwaves

    diamondwaves said 6 years ago

    wow! I'll be making this at my next party, thanks!

  • TwistedCrystals

    TwistedCrystals said 6 years ago

    Love it, thank you for sharing :)

  • BoydemTreasures

    BoydemTreasures said 6 years ago

    Make me hungry!I always envy people who know how to cook I need A recipe even if I have to boil an egg!

  • martice

    martice said 6 years ago

    That's funny :) This weekend I made this: :)

  • blota

    blota said 6 years ago

    Lucky Etsy team! This looks delicious, Kitty!!

  • TipsyTimeMachine

    TipsyTimeMachine said 6 years ago

    Rhubarb is great for Platz too! My siblings and I used to eat rhubarb raw when we we kids, sometimes we'd dip the end in sugar, and sometimes not. I've got sour tastes, since I also eat lemons and green gooseberries. Great to have some new recipes for one of my favourite plants.

  • manvsgeorge

    manvsgeorge said 6 years ago

    I want to go to there.

  • oldcrowfarm

    oldcrowfarm said 6 years ago

    Perfect for my Junk Club beverage Thank you!

  • nemesisjewelry

    nemesisjewelry said 6 years ago


  • thelittlemarket

    thelittlemarket said 6 years ago

    Recipes....Wonderful!!! Thanks!

  • Cynamonn

    Cynamonn said 6 years ago

    mmmmmmmmmm Love it! :)

  • breadandroses2

    breadandroses2 said 6 years ago

    I love the look of rhubarb but wasn't too keen on the taste before. These recipes sound luscious. Must try!

  • candacejean

    candacejean said 6 years ago

    Eatsy? Neato! Thanks for the post; I was just commenting on the last article about making my dad a rhubarb pie. And heck yes I support my local farmer's market! Num num.. I am hungry.

  • picklevalentine

    picklevalentine said 6 years ago

    Yum! Strawberry rhubarb pie is heaven on earth. These recipes look wonderful too.

  • VintageTribe

    VintageTribe said 6 years ago

    Our mom would grow rhubarb in her garden when we lived up north...she made an awesome rhubarb pie...i'm going to dig up that recipe right now!

  • jibbyandjuna

    jibbyandjuna said 6 years ago

    We are fortunate enough to have a large rhubarb plant and I usually only make pies but love the sound of that Springtime Spritzer. Thanks!

  • tangente

    tangente said 6 years ago

    Double YUM!

  • jkldesign

    jkldesign said 6 years ago

    Sounds wonderful! Thank you :)

  • sparklingtwi

    sparklingtwi said 6 years ago

    looks delicious :)

  • lovelygifts

    lovelygifts said 6 years ago

    Thank's for sharing

  • worksofwhimsy

    worksofwhimsy said 6 years ago

    Rhubarb is one of the few things that grows well in our garden. It's almost time to start harvesting it and then we will enjoy rhubarb coffee cake, rhubarb dumplings and rhubarb cheesecake. My husband used to eat it raw dipped in sugar.

  • baconsquarefarm

    baconsquarefarm said 6 years ago

    Hmmm I'm hungry now thinkin bout rhubarb pie or coffee cake, thanks for sharing poached rhubarb~ I can picture you all sitting around the farm tables enjoying eatsy~! How special a day.

  • bedbuggs

    bedbuggs said 6 years ago

    Wow....thanks for this I love rhubarb its literally taking over my garden right now. ;)

  • jewelrybyjackie

    jewelrybyjackie said 6 years ago

    Mmmmmm... this sounds so refreshing and Summery. I have got to try it, especially because my sister grows rhubarb, and I can get my hands on some anytime I want!!

  • SimpleJoysPaperie

    SimpleJoysPaperie said 6 years ago

    I think it's great that you get together to share a meal and enjoy one another's company! Thanks for sharing those mouth watering recipes, too!

  • LuRuUniques

    LuRuUniques said 6 years ago

    I love rhubarb, Thanks.

  • bylynnkrestel

    bylynnkrestel said 6 years ago

    cant beat rhubarb crisp either...some oats, brown sugar, butter and cinnamon on top of that stewed rhubarb...yummm pass the ice cream!!

  • corrnucopia

    corrnucopia said 6 years ago

    Wonderful thanks for the recipes. I've a great rhubarb growing in my garden & always on the lookout for new ideas.

  • ThePeachTree

    ThePeachTree said 6 years ago

    I thought those looked like Brooklyn prices :) I'll definitely be making these SOON!

  • ikabags

    ikabags said 6 years ago

    That looks fantastic!

  • 2007musarra

    2007musarra said 6 years ago

    My mom makes the most yummy pie! I'm going to remind her how great it is so she makes one. Thanks for the reminder!

  • cherrybones

    cherrybones said 6 years ago

    OOH! I want to make something now, I have never cooked rhubarb before. I do love strawberry rhubarb pie, so yummy =)

  • RR1Box80

    RR1Box80 said 6 years ago

    Ahhh! Can't wait to try it! Since we're taking our 2 1/2 year old and 7 month old camping this weekend, I'm going to need the adult version for myself...wish me luck!

  • simplyworn

    simplyworn said 6 years ago the lilac in opening photo and that spritzer looks like it tastes so good!

  • badplatypus

    badplatypus said 6 years ago

    I'm definitely a fan of rhubarb. It's kind of nostalgic for me.

  • LittleWrenPottery

    LittleWrenPottery said 6 years ago

    Yum! This looks really good we have a rhubarb plant in our garden its great. Might have to try this.

  • badplatypus

    badplatypus said 6 years ago

    Rhubarb is nostalgic for me, I love it so much!

  • MagicMarkingsArt

    MagicMarkingsArt said 6 years ago

    yumm - how about some strawberry/rhubarb pie, with a dollop of homemade vanilla ice-cream!

  • GreenRoomStudios

    GreenRoomStudios said 6 years ago

    Ok. I'll admit it. Rhubarb scares the bejeez out of me! But after reading this article, I think I have the courage to try and use rhubarb in something other than my usual strawberry rhubarb pie! Thanks Kitty! mmmm.... strawberry rhubarb pie... :)

  • paperholiday

    paperholiday said 6 years ago

    Sounds yummy!

  • VintageTribe

    VintageTribe said 6 years ago

    LOVE my mom's rhubarb pie! i've always wanted to attempt it..

  • mazedasastoat

    mazedasastoat said 6 years ago

    Hot rhubarb crumble & vanilla ice cream, can't beat it! Nom, nom, nom...

  • AdultIndulgences

    AdultIndulgences said 6 years ago

    We have so darn much rhubarb--what a great idea. Love this article.

  • soule

    soule said 6 years ago

    oohhhhhhhhhhh1 I'm Craving it now! I haven't had it since I was a child,my Grandmother would make jams and pies with it....

  • FairyBubbles

    FairyBubbles said 6 years ago

    My Papa's favorite:)

  • Furiousdreams

    Furiousdreams said 6 years ago

    Kitty, thanks for the great recipes.....any chance of posting strawberry recipes? I have 2 huge beds with more berries than I know what to do with.

  • tomatored

    tomatored said 6 years ago

    I'm trying this recipe this weekend! can't wait!

  • J0sephines

    J0sephines said 6 years ago

    This is Great! as iv got such a large crop of rhubard and was wondering what to make with it other than crumbles or stewed rhubard! love the Spritzer recipes:o) I do have 2 lovely jam recipes for Rhubard & Ginger jam Rhubard & Gooseberry jam

  • joemomma

    joemomma said 6 years ago

    This is so great! We participate in a local co-op called Bountiful Baskets ( I am sure we will get some rhubarb this summer. Now I will know what to do with it!

  • FlanneryCrane

    FlanneryCrane said 6 years ago

    Thanks for sharing the recipe and care tips. Now, ya'll are making me hungry...

  • artangel

    artangel said 6 years ago

    This really takes me back to my childhood - my mum used to make poached rhubarb in the summer, with fruit from my dad's rhubarb plant :)

  • birdie1

    birdie1 said 6 years ago

    Well, I know I LOVE rhubarb pie, so I'll have to try these suggestions. Thanks!

  • photographicamy

    photographicamy said 6 years ago

    Hiring? That spritzer looks so refreshing! My favorite farmers market easy go to is to get a bunch of veggies such as various squash, tomatoes, peppers and most certainly red onion, grill them either cut or cut after. Toss them with some oil and vinegar, throw in some feta, voilà!

  • thegarbagegoose

    thegarbagegoose said 6 years ago

    We just made our first Rhubarb Pudding with a whole schlock of rhubarb we recieved from friends - yummy!

  • thegarbagegoose

    thegarbagegoose said 6 years ago

    And, Furiousdreams, I wish I had your problem... :)

  • whphotography

    whphotography said 6 years ago

    Rhubarb ... so photogenic ; )

  • hcgboottops1111

    hcgboottops1111 said 6 years ago

    I had to hunt for 2 wks then drive for a few miles before I found any rhubarb. I said why are little old ladies not having any, why? They have moved to apts! So I found a little old man that doesn't use it! Great! Made 3 batches Rhubarb/Cherry jam and a lushious Strawberry Rhubarb pie, yummy!(and I didn't have to share.) :P MJ

  • maclancy

    maclancy said 6 years ago

    my mom always said to me, "rhubarb is your middle name" I wish it was because I love anything rhubarb. SO good for you and as for mom's apricot rhubarb doesn't get any better. I cannot wait to try the spritzer. thanks for the article!

  • Lambert

    Lambert said 6 years ago

    I love rhubarb and I see I am not alone :)

  • TheFigLeaf

    TheFigLeaf said 6 years ago

    Wow! What a great idea! I just planted some rhubarb a few weeks ago - I'll have to try these :-)

  • ArtisticIntentions

    ArtisticIntentions said 6 years ago

    Very cool stuff!! Love the recycled bottle tumblers!!

  • recycledwares

    recycledwares said 6 years ago

    My dad loves rhubarb, so i grew up eating it every once in awhile in pies (too sour for me.) He likes it as a sauce over ice cream.

  • tloftus

    tloftus said 6 years ago

    Thanks so much! I have an abundance of rhubarb growning on my property, and was in need of some new recipes.

  • seaofbees

    seaofbees said 6 years ago

    sounds delicious!

  • Inkpaperfish

    Inkpaperfish said 6 years ago

    Same 'problem' as you tloftus a glut of rhubarb as usual (its the best doer of all in the allotment) looking forward to trying the cocktail. Rhubarb is fabulous!

  • dragonflymystdesigns

    dragonflymystdesigns said 6 years ago

    Thanks so very much..yummy!!!

  • OneClayBead

    OneClayBead said 6 years ago

    Very tempting recipes!

  • fiveforty

    fiveforty said 6 years ago


  • AnnTig

    AnnTig said 6 years ago

    Interesting recipes, Thank for shearing :) Sounds delicious!!!


    ZZsROCKnRECYCLABLES said 6 years ago

    OOOOOO YUMMY IN THE TUMMY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • pinkphile

    pinkphile said 6 years ago

    Mmmmm!! =)

  • EarringCompany

    EarringCompany said 6 years ago

    Thanks for sharing! :)

  • nowonder

    nowonder said 6 years ago

    YUMY! Thank for recipy, Sounds and looks delicious!

  • toutourouge

    toutourouge said 6 years ago

    Hmmmm, delicious..

  • kaylovesvintage

    kaylovesvintage said 6 years ago

    love it

  • MissHildebrandt

    MissHildebrandt said 6 years ago

    We eat it when it is in season, it is pretty seductive...

  • PorsbyDesign

    PorsbyDesign said 6 years ago

    I love love love rhubarb!

  • Squier

    Squier said 6 years ago

    We grow tons and tons of rhubarb, I am going to have to try the Springtime Spritzer!

  • eurolenscape

    eurolenscape said 6 years ago

    I have a great German recipe for rhubarb jam with walnuts , it's out of the world delicious. Thought about selling it on ETSY, but since everybody in our family loves rhubarb we are going to eat it by ourselves . I know it's a little selfish, sorry !

  • TheJoyofColor

    TheJoyofColor said 6 years ago

    Lookd do ysmmi, thanks for the detailed recepies Going to try one if i can find it here (Israel ) Thank you

  • akcArt

    akcArt said 6 years ago

    Rhubarb, the unsung vegetable! LOL Thanks for the info. and recipes! Spritzer looks WONDERFUL!

  • netteblo

    netteblo said 6 years ago

    I remember rhubarb from germany but have never added it to my culinary repitoire...thanks for rejuvenating my memories of it and enticing me to, once again, treat my pallette to it's very individual flavour! Annette aka nettie

  • Raceytay

    Raceytay said 6 years ago

    Oh wow. I love rhubarb, this looks amazing.

  • pearmcgee

    pearmcgee said 6 years ago

    THE BEST USE OF RHUBARB IS RHUBARB CUSTARD PIE. You haven't lived until you have had this!! It's mixture of sweet and tart SERVED LUKE WARM with a dalop of vanilla bean ice cream on the side is something that will have you coming back for more and more!! Try it!!

  • zugarhaus

    zugarhaus said 6 years ago

    Oh, I love rhubarb. Thank you for sharing the poached rhubarb recipe. The spritzer looks very refreshing. =)

  • maggiemaevintage

    maggiemaevintage said 6 years ago

    have to try some rhubarb..looks so yummy!

  • jennifermorrisbeads

    jennifermorrisbeads said 6 years ago

    mmmmm..just bought a bundle of rhubarb from the farmer's market thanks to you! i followed your recipe and used agave nectar instead of the was amazing..thanks for the inspiration!

  • Vanessa Admin

    Vanessa said 6 years ago

    Strawberry Rhubarb pie - my fave!

  • SaraBJewelry

    SaraBJewelry said 6 years ago

    yummmmmmm! that looks delicious! thanks for the idea - perfect for my girls beach weekend in July ;)

  • cakemolds

    cakemolds said 6 years ago

    Is there any pie better than rhubard pie....I don't think so!

  • whimsy52

    whimsy52 said 6 years ago

    strawberry rhubarb is very yummy! I love Lemon Meringue too! I enjoy making pies!

  • cocokato

    cocokato said 6 years ago

    yummy.. love the first picture!

  • TeenahTime

    TeenahTime said 6 years ago

    wow, may rhubarb has gone gangbusters this I know what I'll do with it

  • craftpile

    craftpile said 6 years ago

    I miss my rhubarb patch where we use to live and really want a sip of that spritzer!!!!!!

  • bonjean67

    bonjean67 said 6 years ago

    I love rhubarb pie. Cannot seem to find it in the local grocery stores in Florida. My Mother had her own patch in Ohio. Wish I knew when and where to find it here in Florida. Thanks for your article and recipe. Brings back great memories.

  • CreationsBySBDesigns

    CreationsBySBDesigns said 6 years ago

    Rhubarb one of my favorites..... and the Poached Rhubarb sounds wonderful must try that out.... and the Springtime Spritzer yummy..... i must try replanting mine....

  • SchneiderGallery

    SchneiderGallery said 6 years ago

    Rhubarb for barbarians hehehe ;)

  • metroretrovintage

    metroretrovintage said 6 years ago

    There are some fabulous farmer's markets all over the city in every borough -- and love the variety. Thank you for a new twist on rhubarb!

  • GingersGirl

    GingersGirl said 6 years ago

    I have never tried it but might have to give it a go!! Thanks for featuring my ice cream maker!!

  • noricum

    noricum said 6 years ago

    Do you actually cut the rhubarb into matchsticks, or do you leave it in 2 inch pieces as shown in the photo? Thanks!

  • missbatch

    missbatch said 6 years ago

    This looks so refreshing!

  • PrairieFairyDesigns

    PrairieFairyDesigns said 6 years ago

    Wow, I just finished making the rubarb, elixer, as I am going to call it. It is the most beautiful pink color and tastes incredible. I am in love. Thanks for sharing Kitty. Now I want to know how long it will keep? If anyone has a clue on the shelf life of sugared rubarb juice please drop me a line. Can't wait to offer the spritzer to friends tomorrow :)

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