While I was at the farmers market on the weekend I came across some of the first local field rhubarb that I have seen this year and I picked some up. With rhubarb not being on my meal plan this week I decided to go with a very simple, but very good classic, a rhubarb compote. A compote is dessert where fruit is simmered in a simple syrup optionally with some spices and in this case I simmered the rhubarb in some orange juice along with some sugar. The key to a good rhubarb compote is to balance the natural tartness of the rhubarb with the sweetness of the sugar without completely overwhelming it as you want some of that tartness to come through. An easy way to achieve this goal is to add the sugar a bit at a time and taste test as you go, adding more as needed as it cooks. Compotes are normally served chilled but I tend to find it hard to wait for it to cool down and then chill and besides, it goes so perfectly on vanilla ice cream or frozen vanilla yogurt. The still warm compote melts into the ice cream combining warm and cool with sweet and tart so beautifully! After letting it chill it goes well on a nice thick Greek style yogurt and surprisingly enough, on cottage cheese.
- 2 pounds rhubarb (trimmed and cut into 1/2 inch pieces)
- 1 orange (juice and zest)
- 1/2 cup sugar
- Simmer everything until the rhubarb is nice and soft. Serve while still warm or after chilling.