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Strawberry-Rhubarb Mint Compote

I was having a coffee with my friend Julie last week, and told her that I’d bought the most beautiful rhubarb and sweet strawberries at the market in Versailles and was planning to make a crumble or a pie with them that night.

“I made a compote with strawberries, rhubarb, and mint not long ago,” she said. “I served it with vanilla ice cream. It was incredible!”

I hadn’t thought of mint. I’d only thought of pie, or something pie-like. A compote served with ice cream sounded lovely. Plus, I didn’t have to turn on the oven, which is a big plus these days.

So I bought some mint and whipped this little compote up in less than 15 minutes. Seriously.

All I did was slice up the rhubarb, add some sugar, mint, and a bit of water, and let it cook just up to the point where it starts to get soft.

While the rhubarb was cooking, I cut the best strawberries in the world in big, fat chunks.

It wasn’t ten minutes until the rhubarb was soft, and it was time to add the strawberries. I just let this cool, popped it in the fridge, and served it over David Lebovitz’s frozen vanilla yogurt that I’d made the day before.

This Sunday, I’m headed back to the strawberry-rhubarb stand in Versailles.

Strawberry-Rhubarb Compote with Mint

500 grams (about 1 pound) rhubarb
500 grams (about 1 pound) strawberries
226 grams (8 oz or 1 cup) sugar
113 grams (4 oz or 1/2 cup) water
handful mint

1. Slice the rhubarb into 1/2-inch pieces and place in a medium pot. Add the sugar and water, along with a bit of the mint, give it a stir, and cook over medium-low heat. Set your timer for 10 minutes. It won’t take much longer than this and you don’t want them to break down; rather to hold their shape.

2. While the rhubarb is cooking, cut the berries into nice large pieces.

3. When the rhubarb’s cooked but not soft, turn off the heat, pour into a bowl and add the strawberries. The warmth of the sugar-water will soften the strawberries, but not too much. I add a couple more branches of mint at this point to make sure it’s nice and minty.

You can serve this mixture warm, over (or under as I did) ice cream or cooled off, with ice cream or yogurt, or with a dollop of whipped cream.