We are fortunate to live in a temperate climate. At the Growers Markets last weekend, despite being in the midst of winter, I was lucky enough to pick up bunches of ruby red rhubarb and punnets of sweetly scented strawberries. Just the ingredients for a luscious compote to brighten a dreary winter’s day. Flavoured with a hint of vanilla and a little balsamic vinegar for bite, it was the perfect accompaniment to a leisurely Sunday morning brunch of granola and Greek yoghurt.
Of course I was sure to make up a big batch with enough leftovers intended to be stirred into our more hurried weekday breakfasts of steel cut oats. Unfortunately though, some members of my family had other ideas, raiding the freezer for tubs of vanilla ice cream and assembling compote topped, nut strewn sundaes. Full points for initiative. It made for a wonderfully relaxed dessert.
Rhubarb And Strawberry Compote With Vanilla and Balsamic
1 bunch rhubarb, washed trimmed and sliced into 2cm pieces
1 punnet (250g) strawberries, washed, hulled and sliced into halves
1/3 cup water
1/3 cup caster sugar
1 vanilla bean, halved lengthways
strip lemon rind
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
STIR the water and sugar in a medium saucepan over low heat until the sugar dissolves.
ADD vanilla bean and lemon rind. Increase heat to medium-high. Bring to a rolling boil.
ADD rhubarb. Reduce heat to low and allow to simmer, stirring occasionally, for 10-15 minutes until tender or a little longer if you prefer a thicker compote.
ADD strawberries. Cook for 5 minutes or until berries are soft and just beginning to collapse. Stir through balsamic vinegar. Set aside to cool. Remove and discard vanilla bean and lemon rind.
SERVE warm or cold. Compote will keep well in airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days