Rhubarb compote is an early spring staple, and a wonderful way to make use of that first vegetable in many gardens. Though rhubarb is indeed a vegetable, we most often use it in desserts and other sweet recipes – but it is excellent in a spring salad.
This is not a canning recipe, specifically, but if you’re an experienced canner you could perhaps use a pressure canner. I can’t speak to the safety or storage time for this recipe because it doesn’t use sugar, but it freezes well.
I use a bit of red beetroot for a nice pink colour with green rhubarb – see below for more on that.
- Rhubarb: if it’s quite late in the season, you may want to peel it to avoid any stringiness.
- Red Beetroot: for forced or very red rhubarb, this can be left out. It adds colour only.
- Honey: to taste, or use maple syrup.
- Lemon Juice: instead of water to prevent any early burning, and to add another layer of flavour.
Red beetroot acts as a natural food colouring for this rhubarb compote. Since raspberries, and even strawberries, aren’t yet in season in northern climates when rhubarb first arrives, it’s a good way to add colour without altering the flavour.
The compote might look a little greenish, or very pale pink, after cooking – in that case, simply leave the beet in the pot while it cools. It will continue to add colour. Be sure to stir regularly during cooking to distribute the red colouring, too.
In my experience, it doesn’t affect the flavour at all. You may be more used to strawberry rhubarb rather than straight rhubarb, but the beet does not add any earthiness or other undertones, as it’s left in large pieces and removed soon after cooking.
Notes and Substitutions
For a vegan version, use maple syrup or cane sugar. I use honey because it’s available locally.
If you’d like to flavour your compote, vanilla and fresh ginger are my top recommendations. Add to your preference, starting with about a teaspoon each (they combine well, if you’d like to add both).
This freezes well for up to a month, maybe longer in a good freezer. As mentioned, this could be canned, but even with a pressure canner I’d probably still refrigerate just to be on the safe side.
More Sweet Rhubarb Recipes
Let’s connect! For more OE, follow along on Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest, purchase the Occasionally Eggs cookbook, or subscribe for new posts via email. If you make this recipe, I’d love to see! Tag your instagram versions with @occasionallyeggs and #occasionallyeggs.
- 200 grams (~1 ½ cups) rhubarb, roughly chopped (4-5 stalks)
- 1 small beet, peeled and quartered (optional, for colour only)
- Juice of a lemon (~3 tablespoons)
- 2-3 tablespoons honey, to taste
- Add the rhubarb, beet, lemon juice, and honey to a small saucepan.
- Cover and heat over high-medium. Bring to a low boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally to distribute the colour.
- After 10 minutes, the rhubarb should be cooked and the compote should be an orange-pink colour. To increase the pink, leave the beet pieces in while it cools.
- Optionally, puree with an immersion blender or my mashing well with a fork, after removing the beet.
- Set aside to cool fully before transferring to a container and refrigerating. The compote will keep for up to a week in the refrigerator and freezes well.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 23Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 4mgCarbohydrates: 6gFiber: 0gSugar: 6gProtein: 0g
This data is provided by a calculator and is a rough estimation of the nutritional information in this recipe.