Rhubarb Compote…a summer jewel.

Sometimes I get a little overambitious at the farmer’s market. It’s sunny and warm, there’s a big crowd of kids, dogs, and overexcited people, and I can smell the ripe warm smell of peaches, crisp melons, and soft heirloom tomatoes. The farmer’s market is a little like foodie crack, and I’m jonesing for more.

Take, for instance, last weekend. I am buying food for one (because Keith isn’t huge on fruit…what?), and I came home with 6 stalks of rhubarb, a pint of cherries, a cantelope, plums, and 3 heirloom tomatoes. And I already had a zuchinni and 4 ears of corn in the fridge that I hadn’t tackled yet. This, my friends, is a lot of food for one little girl. Especially one that doesn’t feel like cooking or making anything more complicated than a ham sandwich right now. This is my main problem at the farmer’s market…everything looks so good that I feel like i can’t buy just one of anything.

However, ever since I made this rhubarb pie, I couldn’t stop thinking about rhubarb. I was drifting off during work related conference calls, putting the phone on mute and looking up compotes, jams, jellies, savory recipes, crisps, crumbles and ice creams. I was a teensy bit obsessed. I mean, this is one versatile vegetable (Yes, it’s actually a vegetable. Crazy right? Kind of like a tomato technically being a fruit, I guess). You can do so many things with it, I got a little lost in the options.

Well, because of my procrastination, the rhubarb eventually became distinctly less crispy looking and more shriveled, until I decided that it was the kinder thing to put it out of it’s misery. I looked for a recipe for a rhubarb cherry compote, but couldn’t find one that didn’t involve cherry pie filling or cherry Jello (seriously, folks? What did rhubarb ever do to you? Why do you punish it so?).

I made up my own recipe based on one I saw on Epicurious. Rhubarb is so cool, because when you stew it, which is basically what I did, it literally just melts into this mass of red juice and threads of fruit. It is so delicious. I’ve been eating this on practically everything: stirred into my greek yogurt, spread on toast, and liberally applied to gluten free scones. Other commentors suggested it over ice cream, cake and with an English custard. YUM. The English custard idea is really one that I may have to try out very soon. The compote is sweet, but with a nice tart bite that makes you pay attention. And try it warm…it’s killer.

Rhubarb Cherry Compote
Adapted from Epicurious

Ingredients

6 medium stalks of rhubarb, washed
1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen cherries, pitted
1/2 cup sugar (plus more to taste)
1/4 c. water

1) Slice rhubarb into 1 inch pieces. Roughly chop cherries.

2) Put fruit into a heavy bottomed saucepan. I used a Dutch oven. Pour in sugar and stir. Leave out for 2 hours at room temperature, stirring occasionally. This will let out a ton of juice and reduce the amount of water you would normally have to add to get the mixture wet enough to boil.

3) Heat fruit in pan over medium heat for approximately 20 minutes. If it looks dry, add a little water until you have a thick, pie filling like consistency. Keep refrigerated in sealed container.

According to the recipe on Epicurious, this should last in the fridge for approximately 1-2 weeks.
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One Response to “Rhubarb Compote…a summer jewel.”

  1. Amy Green (Simply Sugar and Gluten-Free) Says:

    I completely understand getting a little over zealous at the farmer's market. I do that too…my latest was 10 pounds of blueberries which have been quick-frozen and are waiting for me to decide what to do with them. I had some figs I made compote out of the other day. It just seems I never learn…

    Your compote looks incredible. 🙂

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