FOOD! Strawberry-Rhubarb Compote.

A few years ago, I received the book “Vegetarian Cooking For Everyone” by Deborah Madison.  The generic name does no justice to the wealth of information its pages contain, and it has continued to be my go-to not only for interesting recipes, but also for general how-tos and advice on ingredient selection and food preparation.  It was within these pages that I first learned about compote.  The book contains a recipe for a most delicious summer berry and apricot compote that became my standard at summer gatherings.  Simple, easy, delicious… you can’t really go wrong with a compote.
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So, I was delighted to find a recipe for Strawberry Rhubarb Compote gracing the back page of the St. Paul paper’s Eat section.  Having just visited with a friend from California this week, I wondered if rhubarb is a more regional flavor?  Regardless, it’s early summer, and rhubarb is abundant, so get you some and cook this up!

RHUBARB-STRAWBERRY COMPOTE (courtesy of the St. Paul Pioneer Press)
Makes 4 to 6 servings.

  • 1 pound rhubarb
  • 1 pound strawberries
  • 1/2 lemon
  • 2/3 cup sugar

To prepare fruit: Trim rhubarb. Cut into 1-inch pieces. Rinse and hull strawberries. Depending on size, cut strawberries into halves or quarters. Reserve 1 cup strawberries. Set aside. Place remaining strawberries and rhubarb in medium saucepan. Zest lemon. Add zest to rhubarb mixture. Squeeze lemon. Add juice to rhubarb mixture. Add sugar.

To cook fruit: Cook over medium heat, stirring often until sugar dissolves. Cover pan. Bring mixture to a boil. Boil for 4 minutes, stirring once or twice. Remove cover. Reduce temperature. Simmer for 4 minutes.

To chill: Remove from heat. Stir in reserved strawberries. Cool to room temperature. Cover. Refrigerate.

To serve: Divide into small bowls and add a swirl of half & half, a scoop of ice cream or frozen yogurt, or serve over a dollop of plain Greek yogurt.  Garnish with whipped cream and a sprig of fresh mint, or a curlicue of citrus peel.

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