Rhubarb Compote

How often do you buy ingredients on a whim, with no prior conception of how they might fit into your meals?

Case in point: when I saw rhubarb crop up at the farmers market, I thought, ‘Ooh, pretty. I want! I want!’ and promptly bought a handful.

I didn’t pause to consider the only way I’ve used rhubarb is in desserts, like sorbets and crumbles. And I haven’t been indulging in the sweets of late.

A few days later, I decided to make compote, a dish I grew up with (but always hated, so I technically never ate it). Compote, in my family at least, meant cooked and mashed fruit, though my husband has never heard of it. You?

This compote was delightfully tart and quite zippy. Instead of refined sugar, I added a bit of coconut sugar, a low glycemic sweetener that’s also rich in potassium, iron, zinc and magnesium, as well as a number of B vitamins. I recently tried it for the first time and it added a mild, caramel-y flavour to the rhubarb.

Once this cooked down, it made quite a small portion – I got maybe half a cup. And my rhubarb was small (maybe 10-12 inches long), so I’d definitely use way more of it next time!

What non-dessert ways do you use rhubarb?

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Rhubarb Compote
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 2
  • 4 small stalks of rhubarb, chopped
  • 2 tbsp coconut sugar
  • 3 tbsp water, or more as needed
  • dash of cinnamon
  1. Toss the chopped rhubarb, coconut sugar, water and cinnamon in a small pan. Cook over low heat until the rhubarb has softened, about 20-30 minutes. Add more water to reach your desired consistency.
  2. Once it has cooled, puree into a food processor, or crush with a potato masher if you like a chunkier consistency.

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7 Responses to Rhubarb Compote

  1. sleepinghorse May 9, 2011 at 12:31 am #

    I never heard of compote while growing up, at least never heard the name. We did however, have stewed (mushy) rhubarb.
    I now do rhubarb compote and have with my gluten free cereal. Very delicious.

    • Sondi Bruner May 9, 2011 at 8:08 am #

      Oh, this would be nice on cereal! Great idea.

  2. czechvegan May 9, 2011 at 1:48 am #

    This is the first time I see a rhubarb compote! I ebt it tastes great. We used to make a rhubarb cake, but it is quite a long time ago..maybe I should try it again:)

    • Sondi Bruner May 9, 2011 at 8:10 am #

      I’ve never used rhubarb in cake, but I’m sure that would be delicious.

  3. Andy May 9, 2011 at 11:23 am #

    You can make chutney from rhubarb – which is a condiment, not a stand alone dish, I realise, but it makes otherwise boring steamed veggies interesting and delicious so it’s worth trying. :)

    • Sondi Bruner May 9, 2011 at 5:50 pm #

      Oh, chutney is a good idea! And that could be sweet or savory.

  4. Joanna goes vegan May 22, 2011 at 8:17 am #

    During rhubarb season, rhubarb compote is just such a great option to use all those rhubarb sticks.