Bookmark and Share

Recipe: Stewed Rhubarb Pairings

By Judith Hausman, Urban Farm contributor

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

stewed rhubarb

Photo by Judith Hausman

Stewed rhubarb makes for a homey, spring-y dessert.

Rhubarb tart, rhubarb jam, strawberry-rhubarb pie and trendy, savory rhubarb confit — it’s that time of year around here. Delicate peas fill the wooden crates, local asparagus are bundled with twine and long, sleek stalks of pucker-y rhubarb are lined up at the farmers market. The farmers have pulled them out of ancient, upstate rhubarb patches and stripped off their poisonous elephant ear leaves.

I certainly enjoy the fancier ways to prepare rhubarb, but my default is still the not-very-glamorous stewed rhubarb. In its defense, even this humble sauce can have several interesting variations.

Start with firm, slim stalks, if possible. The basic technique is to slice the stalks, peeling away any thick strings from the outside, simmer them gently in a minimum amount of liquid, and sweeten the resulting sauce to taste. That’s all it takes. The rosy fruit can then be spooned onto ice cream, yogurt or pound cake to make homey, spring-y desserts. A mild, fresh goat cheese, crème fraiche or vanilla custard make good partners with rhubarb, too.

Below is a list of suggestions for playing with the stewed rhubarb pairings. Each assumes you are cooking about 4 cups of sliced rhubarb.

  • Cook it in white wine rather than water.
  • Sweeten it with honey or maple syrup.
  • Add a teaspoon of minced, fresh ginger, or put a ginger tea bag in the cooking water.
  • Add a teaspoon of grated lemon rind.
  • Cook it in orange or tangerine juice.
  • Season with cardamom, nutmeg or cinnamon.
  • Sprinkle with sliced almonds or crumbled oatmeal cookies before serving.
  • Mix with sliced strawberries, mango or peaches when still hot but no longer cooking.
  • Cook with peeled, sliced apples.
  • Add two teaspoons of minced lemon verbena, lemon balm or tarragon.
  • Cook it with a half of a vanilla bean, split open.

Read more of Locavore Recipes»

Give us your opinion on Recipe: Stewed Rhubarb Pairings.
Be the first to submit a comment »

About the Blogger

Judith Hausman

Judith Hausman
As a long-time freelance food writer, Judith Hausman has written about every aspect of food, but local producers and artisanal traditions remain closest to her heart. Eating close to home takes this seasonal eater through a journey of delights and dilemmas, one tiny deck garden, farmers’ market discovery and easy-as-pie recipe at a time. She writes from a still-bucolic but ever-more-suburban town in the New York City 'burbs.

Related Articles


Top Products
Gold Standard

*Content generated by our loyal visitors, which includes comments and club postings, is free of constraints from our editors’ red pens, and therefore not governed by I-5 Publishing, LLC’s Gold Standard Quality Content, but instead allowed to follow the free form expression necessary for quick, inspired and spontaneous communication.

Would you like to receive Farmer in the City Newsletters?X Close Window
Please provide us with your email address in order to access this valuable sustainable-living content.
Fields marked with an asterisk * are required.
* Are you at least 13 years old?
* First Name:
* Last Name:
* Email:
* City:
* State/Province:
* Enter the code shown:

  Yes, I would like to get valuable information from UrbanFarmOnline.com.
In order to opt-out of our newsletters, you can click on the "unsubscribe" link in the bottom of the newsletter.
  Yes, I would like to get valuable information from UrbanFarmOnline.com partners.