All-Purpose Rhubarb Purée
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.
Total Time: 40 minutes
Hands-On Time: 20 minutes
Yield: about 2 cups
- 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.
Normally, we avoid using food coloring, but a couple of drops of red color turns this purée a lovely shade of pink—so much more inviting than a wan green sauce. For more-natural sources, try adding fresh pomegranate or beet juice, a half-teaspoon at a time, until you achieve the desired color.