The Trick to Sweet-as-Pie Rhubarb

Rachel Tepper Paley
April 30, 2014

Photo credit: Everyday Food

Rhubarb has a rascally reputation: One misstep during the cooking process and the tart stuff is apt to make you pucker (or so goes the conventional wisdom). But correctly doctored, the vegetable (yes, it’s technically a vegetable) is a delectable addition to crumbles, shortcakes, parfaits, and pies. If you’re going savory, it’s not too shabby alongside a pan-seared pork tenderloin, either.

Don’t worry, one of the classic ways to prepare rhubarb is the simplest: Rhubarb compote. All you have to do is add a heck of a lot of sugar.

So preaches this easy recipe from Everyday Food, which calls for a full cup of the sweet stuff, along with a good kick of ginger. We suggest swapping some of it out for honey; as chef and cookbook author David Lebovitz notes, honey is sweeter than sugar but gives the compote a richer complexity.

And a bonus for you overachievers: If canned and store properly, rhubarb compote will keep in your pantry for up to a year. Rhubarb all the time!

Rhubarb Compote
Adapted from Everyday Food
Serves 4

1 3/4 pounds rhubarb, ends trimmed, cut crosswise into 3/4-inch pieces (about 6 cups)
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup honey
1 piece (1 inch) fresh peeled ginger, finely grated

1. Stir together rhubarb, sugar, and honey in a large saucepan (off heat); let stand until rhubarb releases some liquid, about 10 minutes.

2. Bring rhubarb mixture to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat; simmer, stirring occasionally, until rhubarb has broken down but some whole pieces remain, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat.

3. Place ginger in a fine-mesh sieve set over a small bowl. Press down firmly with a spoon until juices are released (to yield about 1 teaspoon). Discard solids. Stir ginger juice into rhubarb mixture.

4. Let sauce cool completely before serving.