Try this recipe for rhubarb butter sauce from the cookbook 'Prairie'

A savoury way to use rhubarb this spring and summer

Image for Try this recipe for rhubarb butter sauce from the cookbook 'Prairie'
Photos by Dong Kim. Recipe provided by Penguin Random House.

Rhubarb never ceases to amaze me with its many uses and its ability to keep growing and growing...and growing.

We can all agree that it is most frequently used in sweet applications like jams and pie filling, but do not underestimate the tart and tender vegetable’s ability to lean savoury. When we became creating recipes for Prairie: Seasonal, Farm-Fresh Recipes Celebrating the Canadian Prairies, it was important to me that we created inteteresting, but approachable dishes with common ingredients like rhubarb.

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This rhubarb butter sauce is a product of that frame of mind. It has become a staple recipe in my cooking because of its beautiful brightness and its versatility.

It can be used to complement an array of barbecued meats and vegetables in addition to things like summer squash or, my favourite underrated-when-grilled vegetable, the radish. It's so perfectly juicy and tender after being cooked that you’ll wonder why you ever had radishes any other way.

Being based in Calgary, I know I can always rely on finding freshly-grown radishes, rhubarb, greens, and so much more at the Innisfail Growers stall at Calgary Farmers' Market.

Rhubarb butter sauce

1 Tbsp canola oil

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 cups thinly sliced rhubarb

2/3 cup dry cider (I use Uncommon Cider Co. Dry Craft Cider)

2 Tbsp local honey

½ cup melted butter

1-2 tsp hot sauce (optional)


Heat the oil in a medium pot over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes.

Add the rhubarb, cider, and honey to the pot and cook, stirring occasionally, until the rhubarb has completely broken down, 10–12 minutes.

Remove from the heat. While whisking, slowly pour in the melted butter. The sauce can be served room temperature or chilled, but cover and keep in the fridge if made well ahead of time. It will keep in the fridge for up to 1 week.

Grilled radishes

12 radishes (tops trimmed, halved)

2 Tbsp canola oil

Salt, to season


Place the radishes and oil in a large bowl and toss to coat. Season liberally with salt.

Preheat the barbecue to high (or 450°F if your barbecue has a more exact temperature control).

Cook the radishes directly on the grill for about 1 minute per side (see note). The radishes will fade in colour and turn some- what translucent in their interiors, with notable grill marks on the exterior.



Crushed seed crackers or dry breadcrumbs, for garnish

Salt, to finish


Spoon about ½ cup of the rhubarb butter sauce into the base of a serving bowl or plate and top with the grilled radishes.

I like garnishing this dish with broken seed crackers or bread- crumbs—they add a great bit of crunch. Season lightly with salt and serve immediately.



(Note:If your barbecue’s grill spacing is too wide for a radish, use a grilling pan or wrap the radishes in tinfoil.)

Watch: Dan Clapson talking in-season produce on Global News Calgary