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Roasted Rhubarb

To say I love rhubarb is an understatement. It feels so ubiquitous to anyone who grew up in the cold half of the country, but for those who live below the snow belt, it’s a complete nothingburger.

Rhubarb, unless forced in a greenhouse, grows only where it gets cold enough to have a prolonged frost. I grew up in Vermont, where I thought it was merely a weed. We’d come across it by accident and then turn it into pie. When I moved to Minneapolis, I discovered people planted it in their gardens deliberately. I now, with the help of my dad, have several varieties growing in my small urban garden. In fact, it is the only edible plant, other than herbs, that I grow.

For those of you who have never tasted or heard of rhubarb, it is a long stalk, much like celery, that is red, pink, and/or green and has a ginormous leaf. It is technically a vegetable, but I never bother putting it in anything but dessert. The stalk is mouth-puckeringly sour and the perfect match for sugar. The leaf is poisonous and must be discarded.

If you’ve never tried it, you are in for such a treat. This roasted rhubarb is such a simple recipe that goes well with everything. You can serve it alongside a cake, as a topping for ice cream, or atop some lovely miniature pavlovas. Whatever you do, just try it!

If you love rhubarb as much as I do, be sure to check out my collection of rhubarb recipes!

Roasted rhubarb in a baking dish with a vanilla pod.

Roasted Rhubarb

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  • 4 stalks rhubarb washed and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1/2 cup Lillet or sweet white wine
  • 1/2 cup 100g sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean split and seeds scraped


  • Preheat oven to 325°F.
  • In an 8-inch baking dish, spread out the rhubarb in a single layer, cover with the wine, sugar, and vanilla bean.
  • Bake for about 15-20 minutes or until the rhubarb is just tender enough to poke with a toothpick. Don't overcook it or the rhubarb will fall apart.
  • Cool to room temperature and then refrigerate. Can be made a few days ahead.
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