Chefs Tom Douglas and Thierry Rautureau explain the best way to cook local and seasonal rhubarb.
"This is the big, giant plant that grows in the corner of your backyard with leaves the size of an elephant ear," Thierry says. "When it becomes that really bright red, that's when they're ripe."
Tom, Thierry and Katie O also debate whether rhubarb is a fruit or vegetable. Thierry casts the deciding vote for fruit, and, while the United States agrees with him for taxing purposes, it's actually considered a vegetable.
Although Tom doesn't particularly like rhubarb, Thierry says he enjoys the bitterness, and says pickling is a good way to take advantage of the savory flavor.
"To me, it's one of those fruits that suits very well to pickling. It's got that bitterness to start with," he says. "It's the perfect ingredient to marry with sugars and vinegar."
He says before pickling, you should peel off the inedible red skin, but include it in your pickling solution to preserve the nutrients and color. Then, you can use the pickled rhubarb as a garnish on an entree, like roast chicken.
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