Compote de rhubarbe

Rhubarb compote

This delightful spring dessert is quick to prepare and can be made well ahead of time and preserved for a few days. I like to serve it topped with French fromage blanc or Greek yogourt, with a sprinkling of raw sugar and mint or a strawberry on top.

To achieve a bright rosy pink color, choose rhubarb stalks that are more red than green.

1 pound (500 grams) rhubarb stalks
3/4 cup (150 grams) sugar, preferably demerara or cassonnade
3 tbsp. water

4 tbsp. fromage blanc, Greek yogurt or crème fraîche
extra sugar
mint or whole strawberries for garnish

Rinse the rhubarb stalks. Trim off and discard the ends — especially the leaves, which are poisonous.

Cut the stalks crosswise into 1-inch (2.5 cm) pieces. Place in a large heavy-bottomed pot. Add the sugar. Stir to blend.

Set the pot over medium heat. Add the water. Cook, stirring occasionally, until all of the rhubarb has softened, about 10 minutes.

Turn off the heat and taste. If it’s too tart, add more sugar and reheat until the sugar melts.

Allow to cool. Transfer to a bowl or to clean jars if saving for another day. Refrigerate.

About an hour before serving, remove from fridge to allow the compote to return to room temperature. Serve in small bowls, topped if you like with a spoonful of your creamy topping of choice.

Sprinkle on a little more sugar, add a sprig of mint or perhaps a strawberry. Serves 4.

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