Spring Compote

Rhubarb Compote

Rhubarb compote is one of the great classics. When the rhubarb is cook long enough to soften, but not too long to turn into purée, the flavours blend harmoniously while the natural acidity of the fruit fades away. The compote should have some pieces left with a dark pink hue.

To make the compote you will need:

  • 4 cups rhubarb, ends trimmed and all traces of leaves removed, cut into 3/4-inch pieces

  • 3/4 cup  brown sugar

  • 1 strip lemon rind

  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice

1. In a large non reactive sauce pan, mix together the rhubarb, sugar, lemon rind and  juice from the lemon. Let stand at room temperature until the rhubarb releases some juice, about one hour.

2.Bring the rhubarb mixture to a boil over medium heat, stirring frequently. Reduce heat, simmer, stirring gently until rhubarb is soft and some whole pieces remain, about 10- 15 minutes.

3. Remove from heat and cool completely before serving.

Ginger, orange, angelica, vanilla, cardamom and mint are the traditional flavorings for rhubarb, especially in jam-making. If you want to experiment with one of them, simply add it to the sauce pan at the start of the cooking time.

Dishes where you can use compote rhubarb: (other than the traditional rhubarb pie!)

Ricotta cheesecake with rhubarb compote

With a spoon straight from the jar

Vanilla yogurt , honey and rhubarb compote

Apple and rhubarb compote crisp

Rhubarb, strawberry and mint cobbler

Rhubarb compote, caramel and walnuts

Rhubarb compote and crème fraîche


Chopped Rhubarb

The scarlet rhubarb with its large wavy-edged leaves is a vegetable, though it is usually eaten as a fruit. Wild rhubarb is native to Asia and rhubarb root has remained a prized medicinal herb for thousands of years. Rhubarb is one of the first vegetables to sprout in the spring bringing the traditional rhubarb pie, but it was not until the early 1800s that rhubarb recipes began to appear in cookbooks. Only the stalks are eaten. The leaves have been associated with cases of poisoning due to their high concentration of oxalic acid, and must not be eaten.

How do you eat your rhubarb compote?

3 thoughts on “Spring Compote

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