When presented with a bundle of rhubarb stalks that you don’t want to waste, make this purée to keep in your refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. Add it to barbecue sauces, serve with crêpes or pancakes or on ice cream or yogurt, or use it in the two recipes that follow.
1 pound rhubarb stalks cut into 1/2-inch pieces (about 3 cups)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup water
1/2 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon table salt
1 or 2 drops red food coloring or natural alternative (see “Note”)
Combine all ingredients in a 3-quart nonreactive saucepan (avoid aluminum or unglazed cast-iron) over high heat. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to a simmer, and stir occasionally, until smooth and slightly thickened, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and cool at least 10 minutes. Purée with an immersion blender or a countertop blender (in batches) until very smooth and slightly frothy. Transfer to a covered glass or plastic container, and refrigerate for up to 2 weeks.