MAKE THE ROSE RHUBARB
In a heavy non-stick saucepan, add 1 1/4 cup of the rhubarb, reserving the 1/2 cup for later.
Add the water, sugar and salt. Simmer on medium heat uncovered for about 8 minutes until rhubarb is tender.
Let cool for 5 minutes and carefully place the cooled mixture in a food processor and mix until smooth.
Return the rhubarb mixture to the saucepan, adding the reserved 1/2 cup of rhubarb, plus one tablespoon of water.
Simmer on medium low heat until the f=rhubarb is tender, about 6 minutes. You can add a bit more water here if the mixture is too thick. Take off heat and stir in the rosewater (or vanilla, if using) and set aside to cool.
MAKE THE RICE PUDDING
In a 2 quart heavy saucepan, combine water, butter, salt and zest. Bring to a boil, then cover and lower heat to simmer until the water is absorbed and rice tender, about 15-20 minutes.
In another large, heavy saucepan combine the coconut milk, sugar and vanilla bean seeds and also the whole vanilla bean and simmer on low heat for 5 minutes, then add the rice mixture to the pan and continue to simmer on low heat uncovered until most of the liquid is absorbed, about 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally . Remove vanilla bean.
Serve with the Rose Rhubarb sauce and whipped cream too if you’d like.
Note: This recipe serves 6-8, and keeps well in the fridge for several days. The Rhubarb sauce makes enough for about a tablespoon of topping for each serving, and it’s easily doubled if you’d like to serve with more sauce.
Whipped cream is another great addition too!