Strawberry Rhubarb Compote

Strawberries and rhubarb are the most sublime combination. Here they are served unadulterated. If you must, add vanilla or ginger ice cream.

In Latin, rhubarb means “the root of the barbarians,” meaning anything foreign or unknown. What it doesn’t say is that the leaves are toxic, so be sure to use only the stalk. Most cookbooks recommend that you pull off the strings as you do for celery, but I find that using a vegetable peeler works even better.

Serves 6.

5 to 6 cups chopped fresh or frozen rhubarb (about 3 pounds)
¼ cup sugar
5 to 6 cups fresh strawberries, hulled and quartered

1. Place the rhubarb and sugar in a medium-size saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Cook until the rhubarb is soft, about 20 minutes. Add the strawberries and cook until they turn pink about 5 minutes.

2. Transfer to individual serving bowls and serve immediately or at room temperature.

From The $50 Dinner Party: 26 Dinner Parties That Won’t Break Your Bank, Your Back, or Your Schedule (Simon & Schuster, 1998)