Rhubarb Compote and Garden Update

This weekend we did a lot of work on the garden, because when I woke up I noticed that the tomato plants were falling over onto each other. There’s so much fruit! In a couple of weeks, it is going to be time for salsa and tomato sauce AND, what I’m most excited about: learning how to can stuff. I may have to solicit the help of a friend who knows how (Hi Brigette! :D)

We took the train up to Lowe’s and got a few bamboo poles to get everything back under control. I also ended up cutting the cilantro to within an inch of its life, and lo and behold the eggplants were flourishing under there! Lots of blooms; hopefully there will be lots of veggies as well.

And then, surprise, surprise… the rhubarb plant is still a monster. Good thing we have a plan to make delicious compote! Here’s a quick refresher on what I’ve already learned this summer about rhubarb.

What is a compote, anyway? We were discussing this because it seems like it is the same thing as a homemade jam that is not a preserve (not canned, needs to be in the fridge, no added components to make it last, etc). But it’s used more in context as a dessert sauce than a sandwich/toast accoutrement. Here’s what I do know: It’s great with granola and yogurt, or ice cream. Probably with whipped cream, too. Oh, and parfaits. Hmm….

You will need:

  • About 1.5 lbs of rhubarb
  • About 3/4 cup sugar
  • Fresh ginger – about one inch of root peeled, then grated finely

This really is as simple as can be. First, prep your rhubarb. Dave likes to remove the outermost layer of skin, just because it’s the most stringy. If you make a small slit using a paring knife at the end of the stalk, you should be able to peel the rest of it off.

Then, slice your rhubarb and stir it in with the sugar in a saucepan that is not actually on any heat yet. Try to coat the rhubarb as thoroughly as you can. Then allow to sit for ten minutes until the rhubarb begins to give up liquid. Drain off most of that liquid.

Then turn on the heat and bring the melting sugar and breaking-down rhubarb to a boil. After that, turn down the heat to low and cook slowly while the rhubarb breaks down. When you stop is up to you depending on how chunky you want your compote to be. I recommend about 50/50 between chunks of rhubarb and the surrounding jelly. Add the ginger at the end.

Store in a glass container and allow to cool fully before you put in the fridge.

This delicious compote is also quite tart, so you’ll want to serve it with something creamy like vanilla ice cream. Homemade granola is also a great topping or an easy layering agent if you want to make a parfait.