Let’s be real, rhubarb doesn’t get nearly enough love. People tend to shy away from it because they don’t really know what it is or what to do with it — but, you guys, the stuff is amazing.

Rhubarb is straight-up delicious when properly prepared. If you’ve ever whipped up a recipe using it, you know that it’s highly underrated and underused for how delicious it is. Those huge, bright, red and green celery-like stalks can look a little intimidating when they’re on their own, but don’t let their quirkiness fool you — rhubarb is the ideal ingredient to take your summer recipe game to the next level and is sure to get a conversation started at your next dinner party or family picnic.

Watch as I show you how to create five really simple, unexpected recipes with this unconventional item, such as pretty strawberry-rhubarb mimosas, a spicy-sweet rhubarb barbecue sauce, party-ready peach-rhubarb hand pies and good-to-the-last-crumb rhubarb bars.

More: Apple-Rhubarb Pie Is a Modern Twist on a Classic Recipe

1. Strawberry-rhubarb mimosa recipe

Strawberry Rhubarb Mimosa

Yields 8-10

Ingredients:

  • 2 stalks rhubarb (cut into 1/2-inch pieces, about 1 cup)
  • 1 cup chopped strawberries
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 (750 milliliter) bottle prosecco

Directions:

  1. In a medium saucepan, combine the rhubarb, sugar and water. Bring to a boil over medium heat, and let cook until the rhubarb is easily pierced with a fork.
  2. Remove from the heat, and strain the syrup into a bowl.
  3. Cover the syrup, and refrigerate until cool.
  4. Pour 3 to 4 tablespoons of rhubarb syrup into Champagne glasses.
  5. Top each glass with prosecco.

Next: Rhubarb barbecue sauce

Originally published July 2015. Updated April 2017.

2. Rhubarb barbecue sauce recipe

Rhubarb BBQ Sauce

Yields 2 cups

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups coarsely chopped rhubarb
  • garlic cloves
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons molasses
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon black pepper
  • Additional salt, to taste

Directions:

  1. Heat the oven to 425 degrees F. Generously spray a baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. Roast the rhubarb and garlic cloves on the baking sheet for 15 to 20 minutes or until the rhubarb appears soft.
  3. Transfer the rhubarb and garlic to a food processor or blender, add the remaining ingredients, and puree with the 1 cup of water until smooth.
  4. Transfer the puree to a medium saucepan.
  5. Bring to a simmer over medium-low heat, and let simmer for 10 to 15 minutes, adding more water as needed until the sauce is a desired consistency.
  6. Keep refrigerated.

Next: Strawberry-rhubarb sorbet

3. Strawberry-rhubarb sorbet recipe

Strawberry Rhubarb Sorbet

Yields 1-1/2 quarts

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 pound rhubarb (5 to 6 stalks), cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 cups fresh strawberries
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2/3 cup water

Directions:

  1. In a medium saucepan, bring the rhubarb, water and sugar to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover, and simmer until the rhubarb is easily pierced with a fork.
  2. Remove from the heat, and let cool to room temperature.
  3. Slice the strawberries, and puree them in a blender or food processor with the cooked rhubarb mixture and lemon juice until smooth.
  4. Chill the mixture thoroughly, and then place it in the freezer. Stir the mixture periodically throughout the freezing process.

Next: Peach-rhubarb hand pies

4. Peach-rhubarb hand pies recipe

Peach Rhubarb Hand Pies

Yields 8

Ingredients:

  • 2 (9-inch) pie crusts, chilled
  • 1 cup rhubarb, finely chopped
  • 1 cup peaches, finely chopped
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon instant tapioca
  • 1 egg yolk, beaten with a splash of water (for brushing)

Directions:

  1. Heat the oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. To a medium-size bowl, add the peaches, rhubarb, sugar, vanilla and tapioca. Mix well, and set aside.
  3. Roll both pie crusts to 1/8 inch thick. Stamp out 3-inch rounds using a cookie cutter or a biscuit cutter.
  4. Scoop 2 tablespoons of filling into the centers of half the rounds, and top with the other half of the rounds.
  5. Use the back tines of a fork to seal the edges together all the way around the hand pies.
  6. Brush the top of each hand pie with the beaten egg yolk. Sprinkle a small amount of sugar on top, if desired.
  7. With a paring knife, cut 2 small slits into the top of each pie.
  8. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  9. Place the hand pies on the lined baking sheets, and bake for 25 minutes or until golden brown.

Next: Rhubarb bars

5. Rhubarb bars recipe

Rhubarb Bars

Yields 12

Ingredients:

For the rhubarb puree

  • 3 cups chopped rhubarb
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup water

For the shortbread pastry

  • 2 sticks butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 cup flour

For the rhubarb curd

  • 4 eggs
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 cup rhubarb puree
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 6-8 drops red food coloring

Directions:

  1. In a medium pot, combine the chopped rhubarb, sugar and water, and heat over medium heat for 10 to 12 minutes or until the rhubarb is completely broken down. Transfer the mixture to a blender, and puree until smooth. Set aside.
  2. Heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9 x 13-inch baking dish with parchment paper, and set it aside.
  3. In a bowl, cream together the butter and sugar, then mix in the flour until just combined.
  4. Press the dough firmly into the bottom of the baking dish, spreading evenly to the edges. Bake for 15 minutes.
  5. While the shortbread is baking, make the rhubarb curd. In a large bowl, whisk together all the ingredients except for the flour. Once mixed, whisk in the flour. Add food coloring to get your desired color.
  6. Pour the rhubarb curd on top of the shortbread, and then bake for an additional 20 minutes to set the rhubarb curd.
  7. Cool the bars for at least 4 hours in the fridge, then cut, and top with powdered sugar.

More: You’ll Want to Fram This Spiked Rhubarb Upside-Down Cake Before Eating It

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