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Rhubarbariffic: Whip up this compote to celebrate Spring

Every year around this time, I start looking for rhubarb each time I’m in a grocery store. The first few times I see it, the stalks are generally limp and unappetizing. But then suddenly one day I’ll find it: a basket of beautiful maroon and green stalks… and I’ve fallen in love all over again.

One of the first things I make when I get home with some rhubarb is a simple strawberry-rhubarb compote. My husband says the word “compote” turns people off, but that’s what it is. Don’t let the word fool you — it is deliciousness in a bowl, and super simple to make. Drizzle it on ice cream, stir it into yogurt or oatmeal, or spread it on toast. Yum.

Ingredients

3 stalks rhubarb

10 strawberries

1/4 c. sugar

1/4 c. water

squirt of lemon juice

Recipe

Rinse the rhubarb and cut off the ends. Chop the stalks into 1/2″ pieces and throw them into a saucepan. Hull the strawberries and chop in half. Put the strawberries, water and sugar into the pan with the rhubarb and turn the stove on medium-high heat. Once the mixture starts to bubble, turn the heat down to medium and stir occasionally, breaking up the strawberry and rhubarb pieces with a spoon as it cooks down. Keep cooking until the mixture is smooth. Cool. The mixture will keep in the fridge for a couple weeks. 

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Notes

  • Customize the recipe to your own tastes. If you have freshly picked strawberries, you may not need to add any sugar. Off-season strawberries may need a little extra sugar.
  • Consider adding some cinnamon or nutmeg or ginger to spice things up.
  • Change the fruit! Try blueberries/strawberries or peaches/pineapple.
  • Prefer a thicker mixture? Use less water and cook it longer.

Before purchasing rhubarb, make sure the stalks are firm. Select thinner stalks, as they’ll be sweeter and less woody than the thicker stalks. Rhubarb is only available fresh in the springtime, so take advantage of the season and do some cooking with rhubarb!

If you’re rhubarb-inspired, here are a few more rhubarb recipes to try: Strawberry-Rhubarb CobblerRhubarb Upside-Down Spice Cake, Rhubarb and Tequila Cocktail, and Rhubarb Tartlets.

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