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Friday, June 28, 2013

Perfect Rhubarb Compote Recipe

There are rhubarb haters and rhubarb lovers. I'm a lover! I love the color of rhubarb and the gorgeous pink syrup you get when you cook it. Rhubarb, which we consider a fruit is actually a vegetable. It's high in vitamin C, potassium, fiber and the phytochemical lindleyin. While green rhubarb isn't as pretty as red rhubarb, it's just as delicious. Juicy, sweet and sour rhubarb compote is quick and easy to make and perfect for breakfast or dessert.

The challenge with rhubarb is cooking it. It goes from crunchy and hard to mushy goo in no time. I've tried cooking it many different ways--steaming it, boiling it, and roasting it and finally settled on this recipe which manages to cook it through and yet allows it to maintain it's shape and texture. I rarely use the word "perfect" in recipes, but this one really is. I got the basic recipe from my parents who got it from a friend, who got it from her mother.  I put my own spin on it by adding a slivered vanilla bean. You don't need to scrape the seeds out of the bean, but you can if you want. 

Once you've made rhubarb compote, you can serve it any way you like. I like it with fresh berries. I know there are lots of recipes for strawberry and rhubarb compote, but I think strawberries and raspberries taste better raw, both combine beautifully with cooked rhubarb. Serve it over Greek yogurt or ice cream for a scrumptious dessert. 

Perfect Rhubarb Compote


1 pound rhubarb
1 vanilla bean
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
Fresh strawberries and raspberries, optional


Wash and trim the ends of the rhubarb then cut it into 1/2 - 1 inch pieces. Cut the vanilla bean lengthwise into 4 slivers and cut each in half to make 8 pieces.  Place the vanilla bean, sugar and water in a large saucepan and add the rhubarb. Bring to a boil and cook for 2 -3 minutes, gently stirring to make sure all pieces are bathed in syrup. Remove from the heat and allow to come to room temperature then serve or refrigerate. Serve with berries or as desired, removing any vanilla bean slivers.