Easy Small Batch Strawberry Rhubarb Jam Credit: Sarah Walker Caron

How did I go so many years without enjoying the array of dishes that can be made with pleasantly tart rhubarb? The stalks, with an often red or pink outside and green inside, were there all along, showing up for a scant few weeks at farm stands and in grocery stores.

And it was there, too, paired with strawberries in pies and jams that I didn’t sample. Oh, what a mistake.

All I can say is I didn’t know. I didn’t know that this vegetable (used like a fruit) could be so delightful. It is though, it so is.

Rhubarb has a limited season here in Maine, beginning typically in mid-May and wrapping up in mid- to late-June. You can find it at farm stands and farmers’ markets as well as grocery stores. But if you are really, really lucky, you might just find a forgotten patch in your backyard, as one friend did last summer.

However you come to acquire rhubarb, enjoy it in as many ways as you can for as long as you can. These recipes all show the sweet ways rhubarb can be enjoyed. But it’s also delightful in savory dishes too — stir-fries and fried rice, for example.

Just be sure to eat the stalks only. The leaves contain oxalic acid, which can be toxic.

Rhubarb White Chocolate Muffins

yields 12 muffins

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  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup milk
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • 1 cup small diced fresh rhubarb (about ¼-inch to ½-inch pieces)
  • ½ cup white chocolate chips
  • coarse sugar (optional)


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a 12-slot muffin tin with muffin liners. If using paper liners, spray each one lightly with cooking oil spray to prevent sticking. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the egg, milk and oil. Add the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and vanilla extract. Stir until smooth, about 1 minute, and then let sit for 10 minutes. Stir in the rhubarb and white chocolate chips.
  3. Divide the batter evenly among the 12 muffin liners. If desired, sprinkle the tops with coarse sugar.
  4. Slide the muffin tin into the preheated oven and bake for 18-20 minutes until golden. A toothpick inserted into the center of the muffins should come out cleanly.
  5. Remove from the oven. These can be enjoyed immediately, or stored in an airtight container for up to five days.

Small Batch Strawberry Rhubarb Jam

yields about 1 cup

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  • 1 cup halved strawberries
  • 1 cup diced fresh rhubarb
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp lemon zest


  1. Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan, stirring well to combine. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring frequently. The fruit will release juices as it cooks.
  2. Reduce the burner’s heat to medium-low, and simmer 40-45 minutes, stirring occasionally. The jam is done when it’s thickened and a spoon leaves a wide wake when pushed through it.
  3. Transfer to a jelly jar (8 oz.) and seal with a lid. Let cool before storing in the fridge. This should be enjoyed within 2 weeks.

Strawberry Rhubarb Upside Down Cake

serves 8


  • ¼ cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1½ cups sugar, divided
  • 1 cup quartered strawberries
  • 1 cup chopped fresh rhubarb
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • ½ cup grapeseed oil or olive oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Pour the melted butter into a 9×13-inch glass baking dish. Sprinkle with ½ cup sugar. Add the strawberries and rhubarb, sprinkling them all over the pan to evenly distribute them.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder and baking soda. Add the eggs, milk, oil and vanilla. Stir vigorously to combine, about 2 minutes (until smooth). Pour the batter into the pan, evenly distributing it over the fruit.
  3. Bake for 40-50 minutes, until a cake tester inserted in the center of the cake comes out cleanly. Enjoy hot from the oven or cool, if desired. Cut into squares to serve.