Rhubarb Sauce, Two Ways
Out of all the reasons I love rhubarb (the tartness, the color, the versatility, etc.), my favorite is this: It’s free.
When I go home to visit my parents in southwest Minnesota, there are no less than three rhubarb patches that we have permission to pick from. Thanks to a couple of bachelor neighbors and my aunt and uncle, I consider May to be my free food month.
Last weekend, my parents and I picked a whole lot of rhubarb. Eleven cups when it was all chopped up:
I was reminded of a simple rhubarb recipe when I attended a Norwegian-themed dinner at a local senior center (Don’t worry: People of all ages are welcome!)
They served a delicious rhubarb sauce with a dollop of whipped cream on top. Simple, yet perfectly appropriate for May.
Two Different Ways To Prepare Rhubarb Sauce
I decided to make rhubarb sauce, which is quite possibly the easiest way to prepare this plant. I experimented with two different preparation methods:
- Cooked on the stovetop: Simply combine chopped rhubarb, sugar, and water in a saucepan and cook it for about 15 minutes. See below for exact recipe. This method resulted in a golden color (see photo directly above) that resembled homemade applesauce.
- Grilled: I wanted to see how rhubarb would taste when grilled. I prepared a tin foil pouch, placed about a cup of rhubarb with a few tablespoons of sugar and a bit of butter, sealed, and grilled for about 15 minutes. The sauce was delicious, and turned a lovely pink (see top photo, above.) I also placed a few stalks directly on the grill to see what would happen. The rhubarb stalks soften nicely and were deliciously tart. Note to self: Use this plain grilled rhubarb as a burger topping!
How To Use Rhubarb Sauce
Here are a few ideas for how to use your cooked or grilled rhubarb sauce:
- As an ice cream topping
- Plain, topped with whipped cream
- As a topping on pound cake
- As a topping on French toast
- As a topping on toast
- Stirred into oatmeal
- As a sauce on a turkey and cheese panini
- As a topping on grilled chicken
- As an option on a European-style breakfast buffet
Get the recipe: Rhubarb custard cake
Because I got the rhubarb for free from a neighbor’s patch, this sauce cost me virtually nothing. Eleven cups of rhubarb was enough to make 6 small jars of rhubarb sauce, which are canned and ready for use throughout the year.
- 10 cups chopped rhubarb
- 1 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/3 cup water
- Dash of cinnamon, optional
- Place rhubarb, sugar, and water in a large saucepan. Cook over medium-high heat for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. The rhubarb will soften and become a sauce.
- Add a dash of cinnamon, if desired. Serve warm or chilled. Or can sauce for future use.