pile of spinach

Stewed Rhubarb

6 mins read
Today I’m not going to revolutionize the world of cooking, I’m not going to bring you a recipe that you’ve never seen anywhere.
I will humbly remind you how to prepare stewed rhubarb!

Choose your rhubarb

Point number one for making rhubarb compote, buying (or picking) rhubarb!
Already, warning, rhubarb leaves are toxic, so we avoid thinking zero waste otherwise we risk ending up in compost and it’s not super zero waste. We do not know if it is its concentration in oxalic acid or in anthraquinone glycosides but in short, avoid making a salad of it.
If you choose it already picked, take care of its freshness: if the stems are soft, stunted, pass your turn.
If you pick it or buy it, take beautiful stems, fleshy, and very pink. Indeed, rhubarb indicates that it is very ripe when its stems take on a red hue. Before it will be consumable but it will be very acidic, which will not necessarily be to please everyone.
Finally, take a good look at its extremities, a bit like you would for asparagus: if they have been cut for a long time, it looks “woody”.

How to cook rhubarb compote?

We will start by peeling the small fibrous part on the top of the stems. For this, you will need a fairly thin knife, and you will come and cut the dry ends, then gently pull a thin layer. The idea is not to remove the entire rhubarb stalk but to temper the very fibrous side.
If you don’t like the acidity of rhubarb at all, you can drain it with a little sugar before preparing it: I love that, so I don’t do it! If you don’t like the acidity too much, don’t hesitate to cut it into equivalent sections, and sprinkle it with a good spoonful of sugar and let it rest a little aside.
You will then have to detail the rhubarb by trying to do with the thickness of the stems and the length of your sections, so that it is something homogeneous.
We will then cook with a little water and sugar (between 10 and 20% sugar depending on taste for a compote), and cook over low heat, until the mixture reduces and the rhubarb is well done, about 25 minutes.

What to flavor your rhubarb compote with?

Here I opted for the great classic: vanilla! It comes to bring a note of sweetness (and did you know it, of sugar! It brings a sweet sensation in the mouth), which is not unwelcome when you enjoy the frontal acidity of Madame Rhubarb!
I think I could eat kilos of it: it’s sparkling but not too much, the amount of sugar is exactly what is needed to soothe the sparkling, without totally suppressing the welcome acidity.

Apart from vanilla, we can think of associating it with rosemary, but also verbena, for a greener and herbaceous flavor but still fresh.
If you want to add a little texture, you can also add some slivered almonds, which will go perfectly with the rhubarb flavor!

I can only advise you to taste this compote with a little granola or vegetable yogurt. We can then compose a very simple dessert bowl, where we find creaminess and crunch, which will be eaten without difficulty after a hearty meal or with the strong heat which tends to melt appetites as much as ice cream.

Vanilla rhubarb compote

The rhubarb compote, slightly stringy, tangy, and very vanilla.


  • 600 g rhubarb
  • 60 ml water
  • 120 g cane sugar
  • 1 pod vanilla


  • Start by peeling the rhubarb. Remove the dried ends, then, using a thin knife, remove the first stringy skin from the rhubarb.
  • Then cut into equivalent sections according to the size and width of your stems, and put in a saucepan with water and sugar.
  • Flatten the vanilla pod well, then cut it in the thickness, in length, in order to recover all the grains.
  • Finally, put the grains and the pod in the saucepan and “stew” over low heat, covering lightly.
  • Mix from time to time, and evaporate according to your tastes; it takes a good twenty minutes for the compote to be cooked. The rhubarb then detaches in filaments and the stalks are no longer distinguishable.
  • You can mix it if you wish, but I must admit that I have a big weakness for the original side of rhubarb in the mouth.