Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Rhubarb Compote

I was fortunate to run across a woman selling rhubarb--$1 USD for as much as you want that will fit in a plastic grocery bag. Wow!

So I bought a good bit. I didn't fill up an entire bag, though, because I've never cooked with rhubarb before--my only exposure to the plant was stealing it from a neighbor's garden as a child and eating the stalks on the run. It was more of a dare back then, though, because I never cared much for the sour taste.

Yesterday I peeled and cut up all of that rhubarb--totalling four cups when it was all prepared! I topped all of that with 3/4 cup of sugar substitute and let it macerate for a while as I reviewed a number of recipes online to wrap my mind around what I wanted to do with all of that rhubarb (according to what was in my pantry).

I decided on this easy compote that I enjoyed this morning topped with vanilla yogurt. The tartness of the rhubarb was apparent, though complemented by orange and vanilla. But it is still rhubarb, after all, and while I will certainly be noshing on this treat for several days, it will be in smallish amounts. Next time I will definitely add some cinnamon to this treat.

Rhubarb Compote

4 cups rhubarb, larger stalks peeled, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
3/4 cup sugar (I used sugar substitute)
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon chopped dried orange peel (you can use fresh zest)
1 4-serving size package orange gelatin dessert (I used sugar free)
1 cup of water

Combine rhubarb and sugar and set aside for 15 minutes to macerate. Combine rhubarb mixture in a large saucepan or dutch oven with remaining ingredients and set over a medium-low flame. Bring to the simmering point and simmer 10 minutes or until rhubarb is softened. Immediately remove from heat and allow to cool. Refrigerate overnight.

Serve with ice cream, whipped cream, yogurt or as desired.

This compote will look set like jello after refrigeration, but it's much softer than that. The gelatin simply adds body, sweetness and orange flavor.

What do you do with rhubarb?


Kathy said...

I'm so jealous...$1 for a bag of rhubarb? It's such a symbol of spring to me (usually I find it in season around Easter). My repetoire is limited to various desserts - rhubarb crisps are delicious.

My last experiment was a big hit here: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/RHUBARB-STRAWBERRY-PUDDING-CAKE-238103

Hope you can find some additional creative uses. I definitely try to tone down the excessive sugar called for in these sorts of dessert recipes - sweeteners usually work fine. Yum!

Amanda said...

Ooooh, Kathy, that does look like a yummy one! I'll certainly try it next time I get my hands on some rhubarb. I bet it would be delish made like poor man's peach cobbler, too, mixed in with other fruit. Oh, the possibilities seem endless!

Jenn @ Frugal Upstate said...

I made two different kinds of jam this year-rhubarb pineapple (which was too sweet-next time I'll cut back on the sugar) and Rhubarb ginger (much tangier). Yum! If I can get my hands on more Rhubarb I'm just going to stew it with a tad of sugar and then can or freeze it for later. (I like it just stirred into yogurt)

Amanda said...

That sounds yummy, Jenn. I'm going to try to convert some of my compote into a sauce for pork chops this weekend... we'll see how that turns out!

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