For many of us, the mere mention of rhubarb compote is enough to stir delightful childhood memories.

Was your first taste straight from an inviting wooden spoon, as your grandmother effortlessly demonstrated why we tend to associate “homemade” with “high quality”?

In the video below you can watch me create a beautiful rhubarb compote that gives credence to the idea that the simplest things in life are indeed best.

I won’t be so bold as to claim the recipe is as good as your grandmother’s, but it’s signature will be as distinctive, and a fine example of Montalto’s “estate to plate” philosophy; where the rhubarb grown in our vegetable garden is served in our restaurant for customers to enjoy.

Rhubarb Renaissance

Rhubarb is often thought of as old fashioned, and for a while it fell out of culinary fashion.

But in recent years this wonderful vegetable has reclaimed its rightful place on the Australian dinner table.

Rhubarb’s versatility is matched by its intense colour and complex, rewarding taste.

It’s tart, tangy and full of flavour. And when something is naturally this good, you don’t need to do much in the kitchen to make it shine.

I’ve always loved rhubarb. I like nothing better than gathering those glossy ruby-red stems from the garden or market, and transforming them into luscious yet simple desserts.

 

My Rhubarb compote recipe

This particular recipe is a real favourite of mine. It combines rhubarb, fresh ginger and flowering rosemary with sugar, butter and a generous splash of Moscato.

You can spoon the compote over thick Greek yoghurt, custard, pancakes, scones or even oatmeal … and you’ll add a splash of colour and complimentary burst of flavour every time.

Depending on your taste, rhubarb usually requires sugar to balance the tartness. Personally, I like my rhubarb more on the tangy side so I probably use less sugar

than most, but keep taste-testing while you are cooking the compote, adding small amounts of sugar until you’re happy.

And don’t be put off if you’ve previously tasted rhubarb and didn’t like it. It may be it wasn’t properly sweetened or cooked.

 

Other Rhubarb Considerations

While we tend to think of rhubarb as exclusively red, stalks can also be green through to pink. Green rhubarb is as flavoursome as red (if in season of course) but

it’s hard to go past the colour pop of red rhubarb in the kitchen.

When choosing your rhubarb, look for the reddest, shiniest stems so you retain as much colour as possible during cooking or baking.

Avoid the really thick stems as these can be stringy and chewy.

And remember that you don’t need to add much water when stewing rhubarb, as this dilutes the flavour and thins the consistency of the final product.

I hope you enjoy it as much as we do.

 

Montalto Garden Poached Rhubarb

Serves 6

800gm rhubarb stems

200gm sugar

1 vanilla bean

200ml verjuice

1 tsp grated ginger

2 sprigs rosemary

Cut rhubarb into 4cm pieces, place in bowl and wash. Drain rhubarb, toss in sugar, vanilla bean, ginger

verjuice and the sprigs of two rosemary.

Place in pan and cook on stove top until broken down. Washed and sterilise jar. Place in hot

compote seal with lid and set aside until needed.

 

Serve on muesli with fresh yogurt, with a crumble and vanilla ice cream on toast in the morning

any way you like .