How to Select Rhubarb
- Select rhubarb with firm, crisp stalks and shiny skin. Avoid stalks that are limp, split, or blemished.
- Avoid rhubarb with a foul or off-putting smell.
- Rhubarb is best when picked somewhat young. Look for smaller leaves, as this indicates a younger plant. Try to select rhubarb with unblemished leaves, but don’t worry if you can’t find any – the leaves are toxic and should be removed before using.
- Color is not an indication of ripeness or flavor. The rhubarb’s color indicates variety, typically green or red color. Climate and growing medium can affect the hue or vibrancy of the color, as well.
How to Store Rhubarb
How To Store Fresh Rhubarb: Store uncut, unwashed rhubarb stalks in the refrigerator for best results. Very loosely wrap the rhubarb stalks in aluminum foil without crushing any of the stalks or leaves. Don’t seal the foil shut, but leave openings on either end to allow gas to escape as the rhubarb continues to ripen. Store in the crisper drawer of the refrigerator for 1 to 2 weeks, checking it regularly for freshness.
How To Freeze Rhubarb: Prepare rhubarb for freezer storage by cutting off the leaves. Wash the rhubarb stalks thoroughly, then chop them into small pieces about 1 inch in length. Blanch the rhubarb by boiling for 30 seconds to 1 minute and immediately dunking into cold water. Spread the rhubarb pieces onto a baking sheet, keeping a small amount of space between each one. Freeze overnight or until the pieces are completely frozen, then transfer to a sealable plastic bag for long-term storage. Rhubarb can be frozen for up to 1 year.