Rhubarb Compote

Rhubarb growing thick and fast in May

Rhubarb that is ready for picking and enjoying is almost too good to be true. I’m very behind in the garden after last year, when I was harvesting winter spinach and some other early treats from our greenhouse. We weren’t so organized going into this year, and waiting longer for the pleasures of harvest time is hard. But, back to the rhubarb.

It’s ready! I probably could have pulled some stalks a few days ago, but just wasn’t organized enough until yesterday. I had to laugh when I went out to make my selections.

Egg nestled underneath rhubarb leaves

Yes, that’s an egg nestled beneath the leaves. One of the hens managed to breach the makeshift fence around the front garden yesterday and she left a little gift. I just love free ranging chickens.

With the big kid and dog on the porchLast night we stayed up late working through a business plan and budget with our teen, who is applying for a grant to start a business this summer. At least we had the pleasure of undertaking this work out on the screened in porch as distant lightning flashed and the sounds of frogs and coyotes drifted up to where we sat.

It was only as we were finishing up that my husband tentatively said, “Rhubarb?” Oh yes, I had promised to make rhubarb compote. Fortunately, it only takes a few minutes to cook down some chopped up rhubarb with a bit of freshly squeezed orange juice and honey. I even washed out the pan and made a quick batch of custard to pair it with, though thick Greek yoghurt would have been really good too.

Rhubarb raspberry compote with custard

Recipes for rhubarb compote often call for companion strawberries, but last night I threw in some raspberries that I had in the freezer for a bit of colour and contrast, and the combination was really nice. Food preparation is starting to come to life again; what is it about fresh ingredients from your own garden that makes baking and cooking so much more satisfying and pleasurable?

Rhubarb Compote
4 stalks rhubarb
Handful of raspberries (optional)
2 to 3 tablespoons local honey
Juice of one orange

Cook ingredients in a small saucepan over medium-high heat until bubbling, then turn down and cook until thickened. Adjust sweetening to taste. Delicious on its own, paired with yoghurt or custard, or drizzled over cake, etc. Perfect for freezing too. This is my kind of fast food.

16 thoughts on “Rhubarb Compote

  1. Isn’t rhubarb a wonderful thing after the winter hungry gap? I never thought of calling it compote – in my family this dish has always been referred to as stewed rhubarb, which doesn’t sound nearly as appealing. I like it with custard myself, but my husband and youngest put chocolate ice cream with it (heathens).
    Business plan, budgeting, teen starting his own business? Wow!

    1. I love your term ‘winter hungry gap’, that’s so apt. I’m completely with you on pairing stewed rhubarb with custard, it’s so good. Chocolate ice cream is a totally new concept to me!! That’s pretty far out 🙂

      We’re fortunate in that our son has a teacher who’s really aware of his potential and went out of his way to get him lined up to apply for government funding to properly get established with the tech support work that he first got to ‘test drive’ at the library. He’s very keen to make a go of it as a first business. Sounds like we both have teens who have a nose for business. I think it’s so neat that you have one who wants to farm, that’s amazing to me. My teen doesn’t have that affinity for the land, but we had him outside helping to plant potatoes this evening, so that he at least has that exposure.

    1. They sure are, and I’m completely in agreement about keeping it simple. I think that’s what I love about garden fare – keeping it simple is always a good thing.

    1. Thank you, it was. This is one of those rare instances where we have a plant that LOVES to get frozen during the winter, giving us an unaccustomed advantage 🙂

  2. This is something about home grown fruits and veggies that inspires cooking. For me I think it is about the care and thought that goes into growing something that elicits greater thought in the kitchen. Your compote looks delicious!

    1. I think you’re onto something with that investment made in growing the food that you cook or prepare to eat. It creates a different bond, doesn’t it!

      1. Yes! I think so. When I am just shopping at the grocery store or the farmers market I tend just to be thinking about our regular recipes, but when I am harvesting from the garden I tend to be on the look out for new recipes, different ways to enjoy the food from the garden.

  3. exciting times – grant writing – good luck! (and fun finds with the egg!) rhubarb is one of my faves!

  4. Looks delicious, Dagne! I love two things about this post especially. First, the way your husband asked for the rhubarb! And second, the way your wonderful son is leaning his head on your shoulder in that picture. LOVE that.

    1. Thanks Melissa, it really was good! I remember being heartbroken when my son wouldn’t hold my hand anywhere remotely in sight of his school a good few years back, so I’m really grateful that he still likes to have a cuddle at home.

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