Some things were just meant to be together. Strawberries are delicious all on their own, but when paired with their super-sidekick rhubarb, the flavor combination just can’t be beat! Luckily, strawberry and rhubarb season overlap, which means we get to take full advantage of these yummy spring offerings. I would say “spring fruits”, however rhubarb is actually considered to be a vegetable, something I was surprised to find out!
Vegetable though it may be, rhubarb has little in common with peas and carrots. It’s tart, mouth-puckering flavor is oddly appealing and delicious. Rhubarb is a great counterbalance to the sweet juiciness of ripe strawberries. When the two come together, the result is an addictingly good and perfectly balanced burst of flavor- equal parts tart and sweet.
I recently shared with you my strawberry picking adventure on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. With all of the berries we brought home, I have kept my kitchen hoppin’ whipping up all kinds of strawberry inspired creations, including this one- Strawberry & Rhubarb Compote. It’s really something special! Fresh, zesty, and perfectly walking the line between sweet and sour. Oh, and did I mention it has absolutely no refined sugar?!
This Strawberry & Rhubarb Compote is so easy to make and it has limitless possibilities. I love to have it on pancakes instead of syrup, on toast instead of jam, and it even makes a great filling for cupcakes and cakes (that delectable sweetness will be hitting the blog later this week, and you don’t want to miss it)!
Strawberry & Rhubarb Compote
(makes about 1.5 cups)
1 cup strawberries (local and organic if possible), tops removed and cut into small pieces
1 cup rhubarb, cut into small pieces
1/2 lemon, juiced
1 Tbsp + 2 tsp agave nectar (more or less, depending on your preference for sweetness)
2 tsp pure corn starch (optional, for thickening the consistency)
1. In a small sauce pan over medium heat, combine the strawberries, rhubarb, and lemon juice. Stir gently as they begin to cook down. Continue to stir occasionally and cook for about 10 minutes, or until the strawberry and rhubarb have melted together.
2. Next, add the agave a little at a time. Stir and taste test in between so that your preferred level of sweetness is reached. Some strawberries are sweeter than others, so less agave may be needed to achieve the right balance of tart and sweet.
3. If your compote has a nice consistency, than you are done at this point! However, if your compote is a bit liquidy add the pure cornstarch, one teaspoon at a time, stirring in between.
4. If you added the cornstarch in step 3, bring the compote to a boil for 1-2 minutes stirring continuously so that the cornstarch mixes well.
5. Remove from heat and let cool. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
6. Serve with pancakes instead of syrup, on toast instead of jam, as a layer for cakes, or even all by itself!