Julie’s rhubarb barbecue sauce

rhubarb barbecue sauce is tangy and sweet

I still have a bit of rhubarb in the fridge and plan to raid a friend’s patch on the weekend so I’ll have some in the freezer. When it’s snowing in February I like to make summer pies and pretend…

In the meantime I’m enjoying using up lots of fresh rhubarb and settling into the summer-ish weather that has finally come our way. My kids have been swimming in the river and the brook, they’re wearing shorts to school and I have stocked up on sunscreen.

rhubarb barbecue sauce is tangy and sweet

But we haven’t pulled the barbecue out yet.

I love the idea of barbecuing but I lack talent and know-how. There is also the fear factor.

May be it was one too many half-cooked, half burned chicken legs at community barbecues while I was growing up. Although more than likely my aversion is related to the jury-rigged gas barbecues I grew up with.

Why is it the handy starter button always conked out?

We’d end up poking a lit match through the little hole in the side of the BBQ, and hope for the best.

There are videos on YouTube of people who do things like that.

As a result, I do a lot of “oven” barbecuing. Works for me.

rhubarb barbecue sauce is tangy and sweet

Now let me tell you how great rhubarb is in a BBQ sauce. The sour, puckering flavour of rhubarb is a perfect foil for the tangy sweet of molasses and the cooked rhubarb gives the sauce lovely texture. This recipe would work with frozen rhubarb too.

 

Julie’s Rhubarb Barbecue Sauce recipe

Slightly adapted from Dinner with Julie blog

  • 2-3 large stalks of rhubarb, chopped (about 2 cups)
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1/2 cup Grandma Fancy Molasses
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 Tbsp. grainy mustard (or Dijon mustard)
  1. In a small saucepan simmer the rhubarb with the water until the rhubarb is very soft.
  2. In a medium pot sauté the onions in the oil until soft but not brown. Add the garlic and cook another minute.
  3. Add the rhubarb mixture along with the remaining ingredients and bring to a simmer; cook for 10-15 minutes, until the mixture thickens.
  4. Puree

Makes about 2 cups. From Dinner with Julie

rhubarb barbecue sauce is tangy and sweet

Try my Uncle George’s Beer Barbecue Sauce recipe

Beer barbecue sauce recipe

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Rhubarb gingerbread cake recipe

Rhubarb gingerbread, a classic gingerbread cake layered with sweet roasted rhubarb

In our climate rhubarb the first local food available, a reassuring sign that we have made it through another winter.

I grew up loving rhubarb and always wanted a farmyard patch of my own, one of those huge plants the size of a shed that you see in the backyards of old homes. I want a plant that can supply us with enough for a year’s worth of pies, compote and rhubarb juice.

 

Rhubarb gingerbread, a classic gingerbread cake layered with sweet roasted rhubarb

My rhubarb is the runt of my gardens and I have never been able to pull so much as one measly stock. Then in February a huge spruce tree came crashing down in our back yard and the big bushy bows stretched themselves across the rhubarb patch (such as it is).

Through the spring I have busied myself getting the other gardens in shape so it wasn’t until last week that I pulled the bows aside to open up the rhubarb.

A happy discovery – my rhubarb is flourishing.

First time ever.

There was just enough for this rustic rhubarb gingerbread.

 

Rhubarb gingerbread, a classic gingerbread cake layered with sweet roasted rhubarb

The rhubarb is roasted with sugar before being added to the cake batter which ensures that it’s soft and sweet when the cake comes out of the oven (an idea I got from a Donna Hay cookbook).

Interesting tidbit: apparently rhubarb is a vegetable.

Rhubarb gingerbread cake recipe

  • 2/3 cup butter, melted
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. baking soda
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 ½ tsp. ginger (ground) or 2 tsp. fresh grated ginger
  • ¼ tsp. nutmeg
  • 1 cup milk
  • ½ cup Grandma Fancy Molasses
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 5-6 stalks of rhubarb
  • 2 Tbsp. sugar

Instructions:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 400 F.
  2. Place rhubarb on a parchment-lined baking sheet and sprinkle with sugar. Roast for 15-20 minutes (until softening).
  3. Remove from oven and reduce heat to 350 F
  4. Grease and flour a 9” square or round cake pan, or line it with parchment paper.
  5. In a large bowl, stir together flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices.
  6. In another bowl whisk together the melted butter, milk, molasses, eggs and vanilla.
  7. Add the wet to the dry and combine gently but thoroughly.
  8. Pour into prepared pan.
  9. Gently arrange roasted rhubarb on top of the cake in parallel lines, cutting to fit.
  10. Place them close but not touching.
  11. Bake for 45-50 minutes, until a tester comes out clean.
  12. Serve on its own or with a little sweetened whipped cream on the side.

Fruit and gingerbread are perfect companions. Try our peach gingerbread or blackberry gingerbread.

Roasting your rhubarb:

Sprinkle the stalks with sugar then roast at 400 F for 15-20 minutes, until softening.

Roasted gingerbreadRoasted gingerbread

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One more thing…

If you’re in search of family-friendly food that’s easy to prepare, healthy and tastes good, then sign up to receive blog posts by email. The sign-up form is on the top right hand side of this page. We’d love to send you our monthly newsletter too. Our Making Life Delicious newsletter includes cooking tips, menu ideas and featured recipes. Here’s the link to our monthly email sign-up form.

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