Recipe by local chef Mike Wiley. Mike is the former co-owner of Big Tree Hospitality Group and a James Beard Award-winning chef. He now serves on the Board of Farms for Food Equity, where he continues to pursue his passion for Maine agriculture and support local farmers.


Rhubarb gives you a narrow window for textural success. It’s all too easy to cook it into mush (albeit a delicious mush). A lowish and slowish braise is a winning approach for nailing rhubarb that’s perfectly tender, yet maintains its structural integrity. This preparation is equally at home with yogurt on the breakfast table, or alongside a scoop of vanilla ice cream for dessert.


  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 3 lbs rhubarb, bright red sections
  • ¾-1 cup red wine/rosé
  • Optional aromatic add-ins: citrus zest, thyme sprigs, vanilla bean, slice of ginger, torn bay leaf


  1. Preheat oven to 350F
  2. Wash and trim the rhubarb. Cut into uniform lengths, like 3″ long pieces.
  3. In a medium work bowl, toss the rhubarb pieces in sugar.
  4. Arrange rhubarb and all the sugar in an oven safe dish that fits them snugly.
  5. Pour wine over the top. The rhubarb needn’t be entirely submerged.
  6. Transfer to 350F oven.
  7. After 20 minutes or so, start basting the rhubarb in the cooking liquid. It’s critical to be very gentle with the rhubarb and not stir aggressively to keep it from breaking down.   After 30 minutes, start checking for doneness using a toothpick or cake tester. It’s done cooking when the rhubarb offers no resistance when poked. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on the counter before transfering to the fridge.
  8. It’s ready to go the next day. After a night in the fridge the rhubarb should have set up to the point where you can handle it gingerly without losing its shape. The cooking liquid can be cooked down to a syrup or added to cocktails/sparkling water.
  9. Enjoy!

For a non-alcoholic version:

Rhubarb plays great with orange juice, so you could give that a whirl instead of wine.  Add some hard spice like star anise or pink peppercorn to add a little complexity–straight OJ might end up feeling cloying sweet.

If using wine, note that all of the alcohol will be cooked off over the course of the braising process and if you want to be doubly sure, bring the wine to a boil and simmer for a minute or two before pouring over the rhubarb.

Enjoy this recipe using locally grown Rhubarb from Belangers Farm in Lewiston, Maine. The recipe is made in collaboration with Farms for Food Equity. A portion of the sales of Local Produce in summer 2024 at Rosemont will be donated to FFE.