This vanilla poached rhubarb compote can be made in a matter of minutes and enjoyed in so many ways. You can spoon it over ice cream, rice pudding, a bowl of yogurt, or toast.
Spring is finally here after a seemingly unending winter. Every spring I look forward to the arrival of rhubarb. Known mainly as the pie plant, it’s one of my favorite vegetables. In our kitchen, rhubarb becomes the hero in many spring and summer desserts but one of our favorite recipes is a delicious vanilla poached rhubarb compote.
I poached the rhubarb in a mixture of lemon juice, zest, vanilla bean, sugar, and water over medium heat for about 8-10 minutes until tender. The vanilla bean added a beautiful scent and flavor to the rhubarb but you can use rose water, orange blossom water, or whatever spices you like. Cinnamon, star anise, cloves, cardamom. The possibility is endless. Use a pan that will hold the rhubarb in a single layer or it might overcook and become stringy. After 10 minutes, you’ll get a wonderful compote that is tart but slightly sweetened.
One of my favorite ways to enjoy the vanilla poached rhubarb is to spoon it over toast with fresh, milky ricotta, and a sprinkle of walnuts. I love the contrast of sharp yet lightly sweetened vanilla scented rhubarb against the creamy ricotta. If you don’t like ricotta, you can substitute with mascarpone, goat cheese, or labneh. Same goes for the walnuts. Throw on your favorite nut, be it pistachio, hazelnut, or almond.
I love how this vanilla poached rhubarb compote can be made in a matter of minutes and enjoyed in so many ways. Spoon it over ice cream, yogurt, rice pudding, or toast and savor every bite. If you’re not serving this right away, let the rhubarb cool down completely and refrigerate it covered in syrup for up to three days.
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Vanilla poached rhubarb with ricotta walnut toast
- 1 pound rhubarb, leaves and woody bases removed
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup water
- Juice and zest of 1 Meyer lemon
- 1 vanilla bean, splitted
- 4 slices of sourdough bread
- 1/2 cup fresh ricotta cheese
- 1/4 cup toasted walnuts, roughly chopped
- 1 cup vanilla poached rhubarb
- To prepare the rhubarb, remove the leaves and woody stems, then cut the rhubarb into 2 inch batons.
- Place the rhubarb, sugar, water, lemon zest and juice, and vanilla bean in a large saucepan.
- Bring to a boil over medium heat, then turn the heat down to low and let it simmer for 7-10 minutes until the rhubarb softens. You don’t want to overcook it or the rhubarb will fall apart. and become stringy.
- During cooking, flip the rhubarb and move them around so they cook evenly. Remove the pan from heat and set aside.
Vanilla poached rhubarb ricotta walnut toast
- Toast the bread until golden and slightly crisp.
- Spread about 2 tablespoons of ricotta on the toast.
- Add a couple spoonfuls of poached rhubarb and sprinkle with toasted walnuts before serving.