Spring is for Rhubarb: Wine-Roasted Rhubarb
Spring is for rhubarb!!!
A few years ago, my sister Meghan discovered a love for strawberry-rhubarb pie. I’m not sure I was aware of rhubarb before that, but I certainly am now. We’re definitely in rhubarb season on the East Coast now, and here’s a recipe that is delicious and easier than pie.
I get rhubarb from my CSA in the spring, and if you’re not up for making a pie or cake, the easiest thing to do with it is to stew or roast it with some liquid and sweetener. You can then eat the resulting compote with yogurt or ice cream or all on its own. Last year, I usually put it in the oven with some orange juice and sugar or honey and let it get nice and soft. But this year I came across another recipe, and people, THIS is the way to do rhubarb in 2010.
I found it on the blog Orangette by Molly Wizenberg, which is a charming food blog, somewhat too-too but the recipes are always spot-on. I just bought her book “A Homemade Life” – I’m a sucker for a memoir with recipes. Molly and her husband have a pizzeria in Seattle which sounds pretty nice, and in the recipe she mentions that she used “our house white… Château de Pellehaut Harmonie de Gascogne, a blend of Ugni Blanc, Colombard, Gros Manseng, Chardonnay, and Sauvignon Blanc” for cooking the rhubarb. I can tell you that I used the house white from Target, an actually halfway decent Pinot Grigio in a Tetra-Pak (think juice box) and was delighted with the results. I also used vanilla extract instead of a vanilla bean, and scaled the ingredients up a tad as I like having lots of beautiful magenta syrup.
Molly adapted the recipe from one of the Canal House cookbooks, which I haven’t seen yet but everyone raves about.
Adapted from Orangette, which adapted it from Canal House Cooking, Volume 3
- 2 lbs rhubarb, cut in 3” lengths
- ¾ cup sugar
- ¾ cup white wine
- 1 ½ tsp vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350°. Combine all ingredients in a deep oven-safe pot.
Place pot in oven, uncovered, and cook, stirring every 10 minutes, until the rhubarb is very soft and some of the pieces are falling apart a bit and the wine, sugar, vanilla and rhubarb juices have made a hot-pink, sweet-tart syrup.
Chill and serve over yogurt or vanilla ice cream, with a plain buttery cake or just eat with a spoon.
Serves at least 4 as a dessert, keeps well for several days for those of us who like to pull the container out of the fridge at all hours of the day and help ourselves.
Elizabeth Terry is a freelance editor and writer based in Washington, DC. She used to be a picky eater but now is up for just about anything.