Although the leaves of this plant are toxic and the stalks are tart, some sugar and heat easily mellow its pungent flavors and make it a perfect fit for both savory and sweet treats. While rhubarb is botanically defined as a vegetable, a New York court decided in 1947 that it would be classified as a fruit for distribution and regulation purposes. Perhaps for this reason, strawberry rhubarb pie became the most commonly associated recipe. But cooks today are finding other culinary uses for this crimson colored, crisp ingredient and it’s ending up in jams, soups, salsas, and stews.