When it’s super hot out, as it has been recently, my desire to cook does not wane, but the thought of having my oven on is not exactly at the top of my list of must-do’s. It’s days like these when I want to create something that is simple to prepare and no oven is required.
At my local farmer’s market, I recently came upon the most gorgeous strawberries and rhubarb and was inspired to make some compote. If you’ve never had compote, it’s basically stewed fruit, left either whole or puréed. I prefer compote that does not have large pieces in it for it can then be used as a sauce for ice cream, or swirled into yogurt, or used in place of jam.
You’ll notice that I only used one tablespoon of sugar in this recipe as the strawberries I found were already very sweet. If the strawberries you buy are not very sweet, and/or you prefer your compote to be sweeter, feel free to add more sugar, but I suggest doing so only a little at a time, and taste after each addition.
Strawberry Rhubarb Compote (makes 2 cups, 500 ml)
- 1 quart strawberries (4 cups, 1 liter)
- 2/3 lb rhubarb (10 oz, 300 g)
- 1 TBL granulated sugar, or more to taste
Prepare the fruit: Trim the ends of the rhubarb and cut the remaining stalks into 1/2″-3/4″ (1.25 cm – 1.9 cm) pieces. Remove the stems from the strawberries. If the berries are large, cut them in half, otherwise leave them whole.
Add the rhubarb to a small sauce pan set over low-medium heat and add enough water so that the water level is just below the top of the fruit.
Cook until the rhubarb starts to breakdown, stirring occassionally, then add the strawberries.
Continue to cook until the strawberries have broken down, and the mixture looks like a purée. Add sugar to taste, reduce the heat to low, and continue to cook the compote until it reaches the thickness you desire.
The time will depend upon the water content of the fruit and how high you have your burner on. For me, the entire cooking process took 50 minutes. Remove the saucepan from the hot burner and let the compote cool.
When cool, transfer the compote to a 2 cup (500 ml) jar or divide into smaller jars and give some as gifts. Refrigerate. Best eaten within one week. Delicious stirred into plain Greek yogurt or ricotta cheese, spooned over vanilla, strawberry, or peach ice cream, or spread onto a slice of a lightly toasted country bread.