Stewed Rhubarb

Last night I made stewed rhubarb again, and Jim snarfed it down like a starving man. He just loves stewed rhubarb, and so do I. There is something simple and satisfying about it, perfect for a weekday dessert. For all that we enjoy it, I had never meant to post about stewed rhubarb, because the very words–stewed rhubarb–sound like the culinary equivalent of black socks. And as you can see from the photo, it’s not party food. I mean, you can try to make it look like party food, but it’s . . . stewed rhubarb.

Traditionally, stewed rhubarb was served with cream or custard–I seem to remember my mom making custard from a powdered mix called Bird’s Custard. It always had a few lumps and make my sister go “Eeew,” but I can remember liking it.  But since we live in the Age of Greek Yogurt, I serve stewed rhubarb with 2% fat Greek yogurt, and drizzle with honey. The tartness, the creaminess, and the flowery sweetness of the honey eaten together are truly delicious. Stewed rhubarb is also good served as a sauce over vanilla ice cream.

I have a rather free-form way of making stewed rhubarb. With some recipes you have to weigh the rhubarb, and not everyone has a scale. In other recipes you measure it with a measuring cup. Since some rhubarb stalks are fat, and some are skinny, it’s not easy to be accurate. So I just wash four to five stalks of rhubarb of varying thickness, slice them, put the slices into a saucepan with about 1/2 cup brown sugar, and cook. Rhubarb has enough natural moisture that it kind of melts down in the pan, and you don’t need to add water. Just stir it every few minutes, and after about 20 minutes, mash down any whole chunks of rhubarb with a fork. Taste, and add more sugar if you like.  Be forewarned: This amount will only serve two, or at the most, three, rhubarb-lovers.

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