Right, rhubarb.

My relationship with rhubarb is complex, like the flavour of the plant itself.  My first encounter did not go well.  Rhubarb appeared one day in my veg bag, proud and red – in beauty and length, heads above the humble ground vegetables.  I didn’t know how to approach it.  It’s like celery, I decided.  A really pretty celery.  I tried grilling it with other veg – it rebelled, pooling into a beige inedible mush.  I realised the plant was more than meets the eye.  I didn’t “get” rhubarb.

Next time it appeared, I just gave it to my friend, who transformed it into an amazing cake of some kind.  What?  Celery cake?  I was befuddled, yet inspired.  I asked around my British colleagues, trying to unravel the mystery of rhubarb.  Among the suggestions were rhubarb crumble (“it’s lovely“), rhubarb compote / jam, pie, etc.  In a bar I encountered rhubarb in a cocktail.

Maybe there is hope for you and I, rhubarb, I thought.

Next time rhubarb appeared, I tried again.  I adapted an internet recipe for rhubarb and strawberry compote, mixing in a bit of ginger.

It was, in a word, lovely.


Chop your rhubarb and mix in some minced ginger and about 1/3 cup sugar. Squeeze in some lemon juice.


Cook rhubarb on low heat for about 10 mins until just tender. Add a bunch of chopped strawberries and simmer a tiny bit longer.


Chill or serve at room temperature. Eat as you would a soupy jam. It’s great with croissants, ice cream, yogurt…

Whenever it turns up in my veg bag, I scratch my head in wonder.  Rhubarb.


*Compote recipe inspired by: http://frenchwomendontgetfat.com/content/rhubarb-strawberry-compote


3 responses to “Right, rhubarb.

  1. Pingback: Why, Rhubarb, why? | blatherings

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