Turn a hardy winter vegetable into a tangy, sweet and vibrant accompaniment for ice cream or breakfast oats with this delicious stewed rhubarb compote.
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Place the orange juice and rind in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the rhubarb and sugar and stir to combine. Cook, covered, stirring halfway through cooking, for 10 mins or until mixture is soft but some rhubarb pieces still have form. Serve warm or cold.
COOK. STORE. SAVE.
Clever storage: Thanks to its sugar content and citric acid from the oranges, your compote will last quite well if stored in a jar in the fridge – that’s if you don’t eat it all first. Grab any of your leftover jam jars, give them a good clean and sterilise in the oven before filling with your finished compote.
Smart swap: If you don’t have any oranges in the fridge or fruit bowl, you could use a lemon instead.
There’s no greater treat in the cooler weather than a warm bowl of oats or even a cold bowl of ice cream topped with a sweet rhubarb compote. It’s rich and indulgent with that unforgettable vibrant hue that is only attributed to this vegetable. Compote is French for “mixture”, describing the simple method of cooking fruit in a sugar syrup – and when you add sugar and citrus to rhubarb and cook it until the fibres break down, it turns into a delightful dessert or breakfast accompaniment. This easy stewed rhubarb recipe only requires a few simple ingredients to create this winter favourite for you to add to your breakfast, snacks and desserts recipe repertoire.
Stewing rhubarb is one of the best ways to enjoy this veggie, as it brings out the most flavour. It’s commonly paired with apples in pies or tarts because its bright tang is a great contrast to sweetness. Rhubarb also works well with strawberries for a similar reason, as well as ginger for something with more bite. Rhubarb is easy to work with since it doesn’t require much prep. Simply remove and discard the leaves (if it has any) and give it a rinse to wash off any dirt or residue. There’s no peeling required to stew rhubarb. You can trim the root end for a clean edge to work with before slicing the stalk into manageable pieces. Rhubarb compote is one of those dishes whose beauty is in its simplicity. This version only requires 3 basic ingredients – rhubarb, orange and sugar – and only one step and a bit of prep. The beauty of this delicious treat is that it is just as good served cold as it is piping hot. The only issue is deciding which way to enjoy it first.
The absolute joy of stewed rhubarb is how truly versatile it is. In the morning you can spread it over a stack of pancakes, drizzle across your choice of cereal or dollop it on top of your yoghurt and muesli. For a tasty snack to get you through to dinner, add some sweet compote to a pot of Greek yoghurt and finish with your choice of crushed nuts like a mini parfait treat. But let’s be honest, dessert is where easy rhubarb compote really comes into its own. Try a simple swirl through vanilla ice cream, or for something a little more fancy, serve crushed pavlova nests, compote and cream to create an Eton mess-style dessert. If you puree your compote and add to a glass of sparkling wine then you have yourself a Bellini. You may not be adding it to your savoury dishes just yet, but who knows, it’s that good it just might work.
Once you’ve mastered stewed rhubarb, you may wish to branch out and try our homemade apple sauce. For something similar but a little different try Michael Weldon’s honey labne with stewed apple and rhubarb. And if you like rhubarb as a compote, then you’ll love it roasted in this cheat’s pavlova with rhubarb and strawberries.