Friday, June 10, 2011

Strawberry Rhubarb Compote with Lime and Ginger

For someone that has rarely used rhubarb in her entire adult life (see story below), this late spring/early summer-whatever you call it- has me positively encumbered about with how to use it more and more and more. I reckon the next few months might be teeming with rhubarb recipes.

My senior year of college brought with it an opportunity to work as a dessert chef at a restaurant up in our local Millcreek Canyon. Oh, don't be intimidated: I was about as amateur and novice as they come. The chef, dare I say, took a huge leap of faith hiring someone with no professional experience and needless to say, it takes the cake on being the most adventurous, scary, nerve-racking position I have ever held. It had its let-me-pat-myself-on-the-back type moments, but it was a once-in-a-decade-job- that is for sure.

During the Valentine day month we offered a strawberry rhubarb crisp for those with that canyony (it IS a word you know) rustic dessert palate. That entire month my mouth was continually stuffing itself with strawberry-rhubarb filling that was stewing over the stove. I can STILL taste it in my mouth and being the first time tasting that combination, I was dead-stricken with love for it- and sadly, that was my last encounter with rhubarb until this last year.

Coincidentally, or perhaps NOT, I had all the ingredients in my fridge a few days ago for this recipe- how cool is that?? I love when good recipes turn opportune from simple good timing.

You will love this- and I think you should really make an effort to try it- a little zip from the ginger (the lime component is completely repudiated by it) and huge chunks of strawberry and sweetened, broken-down rhubarb. It's like a really good strawberry jam from the store minus the freaky syrups and minus the who-knows-how-long -jar life. Eat it over yogurt or freshly whipped cream or on top of cheesecake. I'll be waiting with bated breath until I can get my face in this again.


Strawberry-Rhubarb Compote with Lime and Ginger

{Bon Appetit via Epicurious}

2 pounds strawberries, halved or quartered if large

1 pound rhubarb, cut into 3/4-inch pieces

3/4 cup sugar

3 tablespoons minced crystallized ginger

1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

3/4 teaspoon grated lime peel

Place 1 1/2 pounds strawberries and rhubarb in medium pot. Mix in sugar, ginger, lime juice, and peel. Cook over high heat until sugar dissolves, stirring often. Boil 4 minutes, stirring often. Reduce heat to medium; simmer just until rhubarb is beginning to fall apart, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in remaining strawberries. Cool. Chill until cold, at least 1 hour and up to 1 day

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