Be careful with rhubarb. When I first cooked it this season, I overdid it. Since it’s only available once a year, for a short time, it’s hard to remember best uses. I was whipping up a pie and I cooked it and the strawberries into a slurry. I saved it by adding some cooked apples to give it some body. It was delicious, if not ideal, so watch it or it will be like soup—mmm… chilled rhubarb soup… but I digress.
For this recipe, I cooked the strawberries first and then the rhubarb in the strawberry juices in order to be able to get the texture that I really wanted, keeping some shape to the fruit. Cutting strawberries in half helps, but if they are small you could leave them whole. I have to give props to OXO for the strawberry huller we got in the gift bags for Pie Party Potluck LIVE! It worked beautifully.
- 1 pound rhubarb, sliced in 1/2” pieces
- 1 pound strawberries, hulled and halved
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 cup granulated sugar or more to taste
- 1 pinch salt
- 1 teaspoon orange zest
- In a medium saucepan, mix the strawberries with the 1/2 cup of the sugar and let them sit for 10 minutes.
- Cook the strawberries, over low heat, until the strawberries are tender, but keep their shape. Approximately 7-10 minutes depending on the size of the strawberries.
- Drain the strawberries through a strainer over a bowl to capture the strawberry juice. Return the juice back to the saucepan and place the strawberries in a bowl (TIP: use the bowl you plan to serve or store the compote in).
- Return the saucepan to the stove, add the rhubarb, the remaining sugar, salt and orange zest to the juice and cook mixture over medium heat, until it’s just tender, about 7-10 minutes. Be careful not to overcook the rhubarb. You want some of it to hold it’s shape. Taste the rhubarb. If it’s too sour, add more sugar to taste. Once the sugar is melted, add the strawberries to the rhubarb mixture and cook it for two more minutes, just to incorporate and meld the flavors. Remove from heat and cool. You can serve the compote cold or warm.
You can also eat strawberry rhubarb compote for breakfast on granola, oatmeal, french toast, pancakes or toast. For dessert, the options are endless, but my top picks would be panna cotta, pavlova, cheesecake, trifle or a parfait.