For me, certain flavors are synonymous with their season. Rhubarb is one of those. Every year the rhubarb would pop up along our fence row in the spring and at some point, a rhubarb pie would appear on our table. I love that tart/sweet taste and the beautiful blend of ruby red and delicate pale green that is a feast for the eyes.

The quickest and easiest way I know to enjoy rhubarb is this simple 4-ingredient compote that I adapted years ago and make every spring so I can enjoy one of my favorite tastes on everything from waffles to ice cream and French toast to pork.

My Rhubarb Compote

adapted from a recipe by Martha Stewart

French toast is a great way to use good bread dipped in a mix of egg, milk, cinnamon, and nutmeg; and fried up in a skillet. Top with rhubarb compote for a delicious easy breakfast.


  • 1 bunch of rhubarb (5-6 stalks), ends trimmed, cut into 3/4-inch pieces (about 3 cups)
  • 1/4 cup honey (or raw sugar or agave)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (or lime)
  • 1 piece (1 inch) fresh peeled ginger, finely grated*


  1. Stir together rhubarb, sugar, and lemon juice in a saucepan (off heat); let stand until rhubarb releases some liquid, about 10 minutes.
  2. Bring rhubarb mixture to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat; simmer, stirring occasionally, until rhubarb has broken down but some whole pieces remain, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat.
  3. Place ginger in a fine-mesh sieve set over a small bowl. Press down firmly with a spoon until juices are released (to yield about 1 teaspoon). Discard solids. Stir ginger juice into rhubarb mixture.*  If the compote is too thick, thin it with a little water.
  4. Let sauce cool completely before serving over ice cream, French toast, shortcake, waffles, or meat. Makes 2 cups of compote.

*Cook’s Note: All of the amounts can be tweaked to your taste and don’t be afraid to substitute. The important thing is to get the combination of tart, sweet, acid, and zing in whatever proportion pleases your palate.

  • If I don’t have lemon, I use lime.
  • If I’m out of honey (or just feel like it) I use raw sugar or agave.
  • If I don’t have a knob of ginger, I use ginger paste or dried ground ginger.

Check out these recipes for Rhubarb Salsa and Rhubarb Chutney as well.