RhubarbRhubarb’s intensely tart flavor and porridge-like texture (when cooked) make it a popular ingredient in pie fillings. The colorful, celery-like stalks are usually cooked and combined with sugar to offset their tartness. When cooked for long periods, rhubarb will dissolve into a porridge-like texture.

We like to think of rhubarb as more than a dessert ingredient. That tartness is equally delicious as a pickle to accompany rich, flavorful meats like lamb and pork.

Spiced Braised Rhubarb
Adapted from Saveur
Makes 4 Cups

Orange juice, honey, and aromatic spices reduce into an intense syrup while tenderizing the rhubarb to make this fruit compote.

1 ½ lb. rhubarb, trimmed and cut into 2″ pieces on an angle
1 cup fresh orange juice
¼ cup honey
½ tsp. kosher salt
8 green cardamom pods
2 star anise
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise, seeds scraped and reserved
1 ½” piece ginger, peeled and thickly sliced crosswise
Yogurt or vanilla ice cream, for serving

Heat the oven to 400°. Mix together rhubarb, orange juice, honey, salt, cardamom, star anise, vanilla bean and seeds, and ginger in a 9″ x 13″ or larger baking dish.

Bake, stirring occasionally, until rhubarb is tender but still retains some of its texture: 14–16 minutes.

Let cool to room temperature. Serve over yogurt or ice cream, if you like.
This recipe first appeared in the Saveur May 2013 issue along with this great story by Dara Moskowitz Grumdahl: Good Stalk: Rhubarb.

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