My favorite way to cook rhubarb it to make a quick compote, and it's really easy. I usually add vanilla beans because how can you make something so cute and sweet and pretty even cuter and prettier? Add amazing vanilla flavor and those gorgeous vanilla specks. If you wanted, you could also throw in a few hulled strawberries for a strawberry rhubarb compote, but for this one I like the pure flavor of rhubarb.
Quick Rhubarb Vanilla Compote
Makes about 8 oz.
4 stalks rhubarb
1/2-3/4 cups granulated sugar (depending on the ripeness and sweetness of your rhubarb)
1 vanilla bean, split in half
Clean the rhubarb and remove the though ends and any trace of leaves. Cut rhubarb into about 1/2 inch chunks...smaller if you like your compote really broken down, larger if you like it super chunky.
Place rhubarb in a dry pan with the sugar. Open the vanilla bean with a paring knife and scrape out the seeds. Add both the seeds and the pod the the pan (cut it in half after scraping to make it less awkward while stirring!)
Cook over low heat. The pan will be dry at first, but the sugar will cling to the rhubarb, and then it will start to release all of it's own juices. Do not be tempted to add any liquid at the beginning. It will dilute the flavor. Just keep the heat low to prevent burning the sugar.
Cook for about 10 minutes until the rhubarb is very tender. Do not stir too much; you will break up the rhubarb and it will get very pulpy, unless you like that! I prefer mine to retain a bit of the structure of the rhubarb.
Let cool, and use in any number of things! Stir into plain yogurt...amazing! Or use on toast, scones, on ice cream, use it as a cake filling, use as you would jam in any jammy cookie recipe. Pretty much anywhere you'd use jam... or try it as a soda (see below)!
Keeps for about a week in the fridge.