Lemongrass Poached Rhubarb ()

Don’t hate rhubarb. Hate ineptly prepared rhubarb. I rant a bit on that here, but you don’t need to read it to understand this: rhubarb, handled with care, is incredible. And really pretty.

This isn’t really “poaching” but the phrase “baked rhubarb” sounds misleading. It is, however, super easy.

latch top jar with red rhubarb

1 pound of rhubarb, washed and trimmed
3 stalks of lemongrass, trimmed and split
1 vanilla bean, split
1 pound of water
1 pound of sugar
1/2 tsp kosher salt

Preheat the oven to 300°

Cut the rhubarb into 1” thick chunks. Don’t get sloppy, cut each chunk into the same thickness so they’ll cook at the same rate and you won’t wind up with overcooked goop.

Put the rhubarb, lemongrass, and vanilla into a shallow baking dish (I use a 9” x 13” brownie pan). Next, put the sugar, water, and salt into a small pot and bring to a quick boil to dissolve the sugar. Pour the simple syrup over the rhubarb, cover the dish with foil, and put it in the oven.

After 30 minutes, check on the rhubarb. Lift a corner of the foil and fish out a chunk. You want it fork tender. Al dente even. How much time this takes exactly will depend on your oven. But after the thirty minute mark, check on the rhubarb often, so as not to over cook it.

When the rhubarb is tender, pull it from the oven and strain the liquid into a pot. Transfer the cooked rhubarb to a jar or other container. Take the cooking liquid, along with the lemongrass and vanilla bean, and simmer until reduced by half. Pour this reduction over the jarred rhubarb and cool to room temperature. Once cool, store refrigerated for up to a week.

The reduced cooking liquid can be churned into a sorbet, used in place of corn syrup in many recipes, or simply enjoyed as a sauce.

I’m sure you won’t need any help figuring out different ways to enjoy the rhubarb.


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Any questions?

Feb 05, 2012 ·  8:25 PM

This is amazing! I’ve never eaten Rhubarb before as it’s always been grey and soggy looking. But this looked so good I had to try it – it tastes unbelievably good! Even my fussy 14yo likes it!

Only thing I’ll change for next time – the 30 minutes was a bit too long and my rhubarb is a bit too soft.

I’m now a (good) Rhubarb convert!

 · Melinda · http://melbrennan.com

Feb 05, 2012 ·  8:45 PM

@Melinda, I’m so thrilled to hear you gave it a try and liked it, a bit too soft notwithstanding. Now you’ve got the hang of it, you’ll have the cooking time down pat next go-round. Thanks for letting me know, that totally made my day to know Team Rhubarb has another few fans.


May 22, 2013 · 12:25 AM

Just spotted rhubarb at my store today. Squealed right there in the produce section. I’ve always loved rhubarb, even in its homeliest, soggiest, greyest, uninspired manifestations, so I’m really psyched to try this.

 · Psyche1226 · 

May 22, 2013 ·  5:34 PM

Aw, yeah! It’s rhubarb time! I hope you like this version, Psyche1226.


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