Rhubarb and Pistachios over Thick Yogurt

Rhubarb and pistachios over thick yogurt is exactly what it sounds like. Rich yogurt, crunchy pistachios, sweet honey, and tart rhubarb combine to make a gorgeous dessert, or even a decadent, yet healthy, breakfast.

A white bowl of rhubarb and pistachios over thick yogurt on a patterned tablecloth.

This strikingly colorful dessert pairs tart rhubarb with rich Greek-style yogurt and meaty pistachios. Use a light-colored honey that won’t dull the rhubarb’s bright hue. If you are using regular yogurt, start this recipe the night before so that it can strain overnight.–Louisa Shafia

Rhubarb and Pistachios over Thick Yogurt FAQs

What can I use in place of rose water?

The good news is that if rose water isn’t something you typically have on hand, you can use other ingredients that are likely in your pantry or cabinets. Try a bit of lemon juice, orange water, vanilla extract, or cinnamon as substitutes. Each will nuance your recipe in different ways, but they’ll all be tasty.

Does cardamom need to be shelled?

Yes. In some recipes, the cardamom shells can be used to season sauces or spice mixes while cooking, but those are always removed prior to serving. The seeds, on the other hand, can be ground and used in a myriad of fantastic recipes, such as this one. Just don’t skip using the cardamom. It’s delicious.

LC Harnessing Rhubarb Note

A show of hands, er, comments please. How many of you have ever attempted to harness rhubarb’s tartness in a savory, rather than a sweet, recipe?

Rhubarb and Pistachios over Thick Yogurt

A white bowl of rhubarb and pistachios over thick yogurt on a patterned tablecloth.
I'm such a fan of rhubarb that I featured the rosy stalks on the cover of my seasonal cookbook, Lucid Food, which combines my locavore tendencies with my Persian ancestry. Try this simple recipe for an exotic alternative to the classic rhubarb pie.
Louisa Shafia

Prep 5 mins
Cook 15 mins
Total 20 mins
4 servings
305 kcal
5 / 2 votes
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  • 4 stalks rhubarb ends and leaves trimmed
  • 1/2 teaspoon cardamom
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/2 cup light-colored honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon rose water
  • 2 cups Greek-style yogurt, or 4 cups regular yogurt drained overnight (see Note)
  • 1/2 cup pistachios coarsely chopped


  • Cut the rhubarb into 1-inch pieces and place in a small saucepan with 1/4 cup water. Cover and bring to a boil, then decrease the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally. When the rhubarb starts to soften, after about 5 minutes, stir in the cardamom, nutmeg, and salt. Break up any large pieces of rhubarb with a wooden spoon. Continue to simmer, covered, until the rhubarb is completely softened, about 4 minutes more. Remove from the heat and stir in the honey and vanilla extract. Let cool.
  • Just before serving, stir the rose water into the rhubarb. Place 1/2 cup of yogurt in each bowl and top with a few tablespoons of the rhubarb. Scatter a few tablespoons of pistachios over the top.
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If you’re draining yogurt, you’ll need to start the night before you serve it. To convert 1 cup of regular yogurt to 1/2 cup of thick Greek-style yogurt, set a a strainer over a bowl and line it with a clean, lint-free dish towel or a coffee filter and pour in 1 cup of yogurt. Place the bowl in the refrigerator overnight. The next day, discard the liquid that has accumulated in the bottom of the bowl. Scrape the thickened yogurt from the strainer into a serving bowl(s).

Show Nutrition

Serving: 1portionCalories: 305kcal (15%)Carbohydrates: 48g (16%)Protein: 8g (16%)Fat: 11g (17%)Saturated Fat: 3g (19%)Polyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 16mg (5%)Sodium: 60mg (3%)Potassium: 521mg (15%)Fiber: 3g (13%)Sugar: 42g (47%)Vitamin A: 237IU (5%)Vitamin C: 6mg (7%)Calcium: 212mg (21%)Iron: 1mg (6%)

Recipe Testers’ Reviews

I woke up one Saturday morning and noticed that my rhubarb plant was begging to be used. When I saw this recipe, I knew I had to try it. I also had a bottle of rose water in the pantry that had never been opened, and I was curious as to the flavor combination. I followed the recipe exactly. I make my own yogurt, and I drained it overnight to allow the whey to drain. The next day I added the rose water to the rhubarb mixture (I used four big stalks) just before serving, as instructed, and I used salted pistachios. The combo of sweet, tart, creamy, and salty is absolutely delicious! I am putting this rhubarb recipe in my list of favorites! (And if anyone is curious—the addition of rosewater is amazing!)

Originally published April 23, 2010


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  1. Does anyone know of a good online source to purchase pistachios? I live in Fairbanks, Alaska and the ones in the bulk section are not green, they are brown and horribly stale. The ones in their shells are…well…red!

      1. Thank you so much. I have been thinking about placing an order with them for a while anyway. I’ll just add pistachios to the list. This was very helpful.

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