Rhubarb Sauce with Strawberries

After Harriet scorned my pickled rhubarb (which I’ll write about later), I asked what she preferred to do with rhubarb. I liked her answer: She macerates cut rhubarb in sugar overnight, she said, and cooks the mixture briefly in the morning. When the rhubarb starts to soften, she stirs in some strawberries and let’s them just heat through, so they color the sauce but keep their shape. That’s it–she then serves forth her strawberry-studded pink rhubarb sauce.

So I tried Harriet’s recipe for breakfast the next day. Here’s my interpretation:

Harriet’s Strawberry-Rhubarb Sauce

1 pound rhubarb, cut crosswise about ¾ inch thick
1/3 cup sugar
1 pound strawberries, hulled

Mix the rhubarb and sugar in a bowl, cover the bowl, and let it stand at room temperature overnight.

In the morning, the sugar will have turned to syrup. Turn the rhubarb and syrup out into a saucepan, and simmer the rhubarb, uncovered, stirring it occasionally and gently, until it becomes tender (at which point it will begin falling apart), about 6 minutes.

While the rhubarb cooks, halve or quarter any of the strawberries that are large or not fully ripe. Leave small, ripe strawberries whole.

Add the strawberries to the pan of rhubarb. Simmer the mixture about 4 minutes, until the strawberries are just tender.

Serve the sauce immediately, or let it cool. If you must gild the lily, flavor the sauce with rosewater or perhaps some maraschino. For a formal dessert, the sauce goes well with ice cream, custard, or cake.

UPDATE 2022: What were those rhubarb pickles that Harriet scorned? Apparently I never wrote up a recipe at all. Maybe I will, some day.

0 thoughts on “Rhubarb Sauce with Strawberries”

  1. Dear scorned,

    So glad you attempted my approach. Hope you liked it. And for the record, I’m looking forward to receiving some of that pickled rhubarb once you hit the exact mark (which I’m sure you will). But I will add that I do not cook the strawberries in my rendition. I just throw them in to let them cook ever so gently by the heat of the rhubarb once I’ve taken it off the stove. It takes no more than a few minutes and they are lovely, softened and toting a bit of the red strawberry hue. Having said that, I’m very proud and impressed that you were even listening to me at all.

  2. I know that’s what you told me, Harriet, but I found the strawberries needed a little cooking–maybe because the total amount of strawberry and rhubarb was small?
    I was kidding about the scorning, of course.

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