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Before Passover this year, our office mate Avi sent me a recipe from his grandmother, Riva Schamroth; it was a rhubarb and strawberry compote, and he asked me to try it out -- it's a dish he loves, and he was convinced it deserved a mention on food52.
Unfortunately, rhubarb wasn't quite in season, so I asked if he could hold out a few more weeks. Then, when the first crimson stalks appeared at the farmers' market about two weeks ago, I made the compote. Riva's recipe is appealing in its straightforwardness: all she calls for are 1 pound of strawberries, 1 pound of rhubarb, sugar (1 3/4 cups of it) and water. While I loved the concept, her compote was a little sweet for my taste, and I had some ideas for a possible riff. (Shocking, I know.)
The second time around, I added less sugar (I used turbinado, which I think gives the compote a caramel undertone), infused the compote with some orange peel, and splashed in a glug or two from the open bottle of rosé that was lying around in my fridge -- I can't tell you why, it just seemed like the right thing to do. The compote, cooked just until the fruit started to fall apart but had not yet become a complete mush, was tart and fresh, perfumed with the oils from the orange peel, and it had just enough sweetness to keep your mouth from puckering. I ate mine over the course of a few breakfasts, over both plain Greek yogurt and ricotta, but I bet it would be pretty g ood over ice cream too.
Strawberry Rhubarb Compote
Inspired by Avi's Bubby
Makes about 2 cups
- 3 cups rhubarb (4 large stalks), trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 pound frozen or fresh strawberries
- 6 tablespoons raw (turbinado) sugar
- Pinch salt
- Peel from 1/2 large navel orange
- 3 tablespoons rosé wine