‘Tis the season to find a random patch of rhubarb growing in your next door neighbor’s backyard. Don’t be shy; ask him if he plans to use it. If the answer is no, chop it down and make something that tastes precisely like the beginning of summer. I tend towards simpler preparations of rhubarb: the ones that let its tangy, uniquely rhubarbian flavor shine through. The stewed compote I made is scented with vanilla, orange zest, and a touch of cinnamon with just enough maple syrup to take off the pucker-inducing edge. You may like more sweetener, in which case, add it!
I like this compote best swirled into full fat, plain yogurt. The tanginess of both ingredients play well together, and the creaminess of the yogurt tempers the hint of bitterness in the ‘barb while playing up the sweeter notes of maple and spice. This morning I dolloped both on top of a steaming stack of coconut flour pancakes and declared a breakfast miracle worthy of sharing. I didn’t want to be too greedy with the free rhubarb, so I only took about 6 stalks. This recipe could easily be doubled or tripled to accommodate a larger rhubarb haul.
Maple Vanilla Rhubarb Compote
makes about 2 small jelly jars full
2 cups rhubarb stalks, rinsed and chopped into 1/4 inch pieces 3 tablespoons maple syrup zest and juice from 1 medium orange 1 teaspoon vanilla extract dash of cinnamon dash of salt Method:
Combine all ingredients in a heavy bottomed skilled or saucepan. Heat mixture over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until rhubarb begins to break down and become soft, about ten minutes. Taste compote and add more sweetener if desired.
Allow to cool slightly and pour into jars. Keep refrigerated for up to three weeks. Enjoy over pancakes, waffles, oatmeal, yogurt, ice cream or straight from the jar. Lip-smacking summer goodness.