Raw Rhubarb Compote

I don’t think I knew about rhubarb when I was a kid.  But I have read about and romanticized the childhood pleasure of being sent outside with a bowl of sugar to dunk the tart whole stalks as an afternoon treat.  Did you get to do that?

This compote is like a grown-up version of what I imagine that sweet-crunchy experience to be.  I especially like to make it with green rhubarb, which turns a dingy beige color when cooked; leaving it raw instead preserves the gem-green color and lets the occasional pink highlight shine.  The flavor is very bright, tart and sweet at once, and if you are feeling adventurous the recipe (from Rustic Fruit Desserts, again) smartly suggests infusing the compote with fresh rosemary or lavender.  I always mean to try that, but it’s so good as is that I never have.

Likewise, I’m not too creative about serving this dish.  We usually scoop spoonfuls over yogurt, maybe with a little granola (like this one with orange zest and currants) sprinkled on top.  What other ideas do you have?  I have a big bowl in my fridge.

Raw Rhubarb Compote: Trim the leaves and ends from enough stalks of rhubarb to equal about 1 1/2 lbs.  Slice the stalks lengthwise into 1/4″ lengths, then chop crosswise to make 1/4″ dice.  Add the juice of half an orange (about 1/4 c.) and 1/2 c. sugar.  Stir to combine completely, then leave out on the counter overnight (or at least 6 hours).  Stir again and serve over yogurt, or transfer to fridge for longer term storage.


11 thoughts on “Raw Rhubarb Compote

  1. musingmar

    What a clever use for raw rhubarb. You’re right about the green stalks not looking so attractive when cooked, so this is a great use for them. You bright back great memories with my brother and I eating fresh rhubarb from the big patch on the farm, dipping it in bowls of sugar … Ah, childhood memories.

  2. Erina

    I have got rhubarb coming out of my eyeballs, so I will definitely make this! One way I like to use it, which is definitely indulgent, but a great dinner party dessert is Shortbread topped with a Wedge of Triple Cream, Finished with a Rhubarb Compote, http://wp.me/puWta-cC, but I think a raw would be better like yours, so will give that a try.

  3. Karla

    Interesting! I’ve never seen rhubarb eaten raw! I’ll have to give it a try! I was only recently introduced to rhubarb (a few years ago), but I must say it’s pretty delicious. Obviously I love it in pie form, I must try it raw too!

  4. bigflavours

    Rhubarb and rum makes a delightful combo! Well worth trying a compote, rum and lime cocktail with a dash of angostura bitters I reckon! Ruari

    1. emmycooks Post author

      Good to know! I also went the beverage route and saved the liquid from this (which I figure is like a rhubarb simple syrup) to mix with sparkling wine, but next time I’ll get some rum in the mix and try it out!


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