The pairing of strawberry and rhubarb is classic. The tartness of the rhubarb and the sweetness of the strawberries creates the perfect balance for many early summer dishes. This compote is the base for several varying uses that I’ll be posting on. A compote might sound fancy, but it’s simply fruit cooked down with sugar.

If you can get your hands on some local strawberries and rhubarb, do so and make this. Right now. Even if you don’t use it now, freeze it and you’ll have it ready to go. Neither fruit (though rhubarb is commonly used as a fruit, it is actually a vegetable – think celery) has a long season and you don’t want to miss out on all that you can do with this perfect pair.

Wash, hull and chop your strawberries.

Prep your rhubarb by rinsing and chopping into small, 1/2 inch pieces.

A few notes on rhubarb:

  • Look for bright colored, firm stalks.
  • Fresh rhubarb shouldn’t be stored for too long. If you’re not going to use it right away – freeze it. Chop into small pieces, blanch (cook for 2 minutes in boiling water then immediately cool in ice water), and freeze.
  • Older stalks may need a little peeling of their fibrous outer strings.
  • Rhubarb leaves are toxic! Don’t eat them!
  • Rhubarb contains a good amount of Vitamin C, Calcium, potassium and fiber.
  • I thought I didn’t like rhubarb until I recently gave it another chance, starting with this recipe.

Place the prepared strawberries and rhubarb in a pan over medium high heat. Within a few minutes they should release a large amount of juice. Add sugar, and flavorings of choice and continue cooking until the rhubarb is soft.

Give it a taste, add more sugar, if needed, and it’s ready to go. That’s all there is too it. The uses are infinite. You could use it to top:

  • A cake
  • Ice cream
  • Oatmeal
  • Yogurt
  • Pancakes or waffles

Or look for one of my suggested uses in future posts.

Strawberry Rhubarb Compote

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 20 minutes

Yield: 4 cups

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. strawberries
  • 1 lb. rhubarb
  • 1/2 cup sugar, (more or less, if needed)
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • Additional flavorings such as vanilla and nutmeg

Instructions

  1. Rinse, hull and chop the strawberries. Reserve a handful.
  2. Chop the rhubarb into 1/2 inch pieces
  3. Add the strawberries, rhubarb, sugar and lemon zest to a large pan
  4. Cook, stirring, until juices are release 2-3 minutes.
  5. Simmer 5 minutes or so until rhubarb is tender.
  6. Add in reserved strawberries.
  7. Add flavorings, if desired.