Poached Rhubarb

There are times when all you need is simple but good, fancy but easy, fresh but cheap.  That would be poached rhubarb.  Yes, I'm a little obsessed with this vegetable turned fruit; but, seriously, is there anything more wonderful than seeing these green & red stalks at the Farmer's Market or gardens whispering, "yes--summer is coming!"  You haven't even begun to see the many uses I've made with this humble stalk.

I needed to make desserts for a banquet of 80+ people this past Saturday.  I knew rhubarb would be the star.  However, when given full range of what I could make for a dessert is like telling a child they can have any toy in a toy store, but just one.  Seriously!  Only one of the many calling my name.  Options are limitless (well, not quite--there was a budget & time constraints, but you understand--right?!)!  I ended up making a deconstructed white chocolate cheesecake with gingersnap crust topped with poached rhubarb.

There are a couple things I love about this poached rhubarb:

  1. It holds its lovely shape, not being cooked down to mush.

  2. It's lightly sweetened maintaining that perfect tang we know as rhubarb.

  3. You can dress it up or down (reminds me of the sales lady at the Gap telling me why the boot cut jean was perfect for the same reasons).

  4. You can eat it for breakfast & dessert and no one will ever bat an eye.

  5. It doesn't take that long to make.


Poached Rhubarb (printable recipe)

This recipe was inspired by Tartelette.  I am in awe of her photography, many variations of macarons & desserts I salivate over.  It's an art form.  I have found serving directly on top of plain yogurt to be completely satisfying.


3 cups sliced rhubarb, 1/2 inch slices

juice of one lemon

1/2 cup water

2 tablespoons honey

1-2 tablespoons demerara sugar

Directions: Place water, lemon juice & honey over medium-high heat.  Stir to dissolve honey.  Once it boils, add rhubarb.  Stir around and allow rhubarb to poach for about 4 minutes.  You'll want to be near the stove to keep an eye on it.  Don't allow it to cook too long.  Once the red parts turn pale and a fork can pierce through (but not mushy through), remove rhubarb from liquid and place in bowl.  It will cook a bit longer.

Add demerara sugar to liquid and cook liquid down to a syrup if you'd like, or simply until the sugar dissolves.  I think I prefer it to be less syrupy.  Top on ice cream, yogurt, cheesecake, or by itself.