I dashed into a small produce store the other day to pick up bananas, and came out with rhubarb. I couldn’t help it. It’s in season, and it looked so lovely and pink and fresh.
When I was a kid, growing up in Kitsilano, we had a garden in our back yard. There was a plum tree, grape vines, and of course, the obligatory rhubarb. After dinner, my mom would give me a freshly-cut and scrubbed stalk, a bowl of sugar, and that was dessert.
The combination of the tart and sweet is something I crave to this day, and there are few things that pair better with rhubarb than sweet strawberries. I often buy a lot of rhubarb when it’s in season, slice it into 1″ chunks and freeze it until it’s strawberry season, but this week I happened to have California strawberries in my fridge, so I started looking for inspiration.
I found it on Guilty Kitchen‘s blog, and, seeing as I got to visit her last week, took her a mason jar of this stuff. Is it tacky to make a friend’s recipe and then present it to her? I dunno. But I did put my own twist on this.
I’d serve this over ice cream or waffles or pancakes. Or crepes–with some whipped cream.
Strawberry-Rhubarb Compote (original: Guilty Kitchen)
- 4 stalks fresh rhubarb, washed, and cut into 1″ chunks
- 1/2 fresh or frozen strawberries, de-stemmed and quartered
- 1/2 c sugar
- juice of one lemon, and the zest, too
- 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1/3 c dried cranberries
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- Water, depending on desired thickness
- Toss all the rhubarb, strawberries, sugar, lemon juice, and lemon zest into a medium-sized pot, and bring it just up to the boil. Turn the heat down low and allow to simmer for 20-30 minutes until the rhubarb is mush.
- If you like it chunky, leave as is. If you like it to be more of a syrupy texture, add some water, about 1/4-1/2 cup, and mash with a potato masher to get the big chunks out.
- Add the balsamic, salt and the dried cranberries, mix well, and let simmer another 5-10 minutes. Taste and adjust seasonings.
- Store in the fridge, unless you want to put it through the preserving process.
I have a feeling there will be more strawberry-rhubarb posts, as the season is just starting, and I got a yen for a tart or pie, a coffee cake, and I want to experiment with cocktail recipes. Stay tuned!