Strawberry Rhubarb Compote

Coming off of four years of professional ski racing, I have learned to love traveling.  I was very lucky to have ski racing take me all over the world. Through skiing I experienced urban Kazakhstan, pristine New Zealand, stereotypical European ski towns, Olympic-ized South Korea and just about every continent and state in between (traveling through airports counts right?).  And while I do love to travel…for me there is no place like home.

Don’t get me wrong–seeing new places and cultures, walking miles through cities and eating my way through heavily researched restaurants (I only want the best and most authentic a city can offer!) has been and will always continue to be incredible.  But settling into my own bed with the knowledge that in the morning I have my perfect cup of coffee and an entire kitchen awaiting will never cease to be my favorite.

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The first night out was probably our favorite restaurant.  Caseus Fromagerie Bistro is incredible. They find the best cheeses made from the best cared for cows, sheep, and goats and turn them into transcendent meals.  I had the most delicious burger, my mom had fresh rye pasta with a pork filling and some kind of sheeps milk cheese, and in the background you can see Henry’s grilled cheese.  A 1/2 pound of melted goodness between two slices of sourdough bread.  Check out the instagram feed for a picture of my burger and the best ice cream cone in the world.

My little brother just graduated from Yale (yay Henry!), and unlike my college graduation from Dartmouth, the Yale graduation was a full three day affair.  There were four separate ceremonies, an athlete banquet, and according to my dad’s step counter at least 20,000 steps a day between all of those.  We ate at some amazing places [Favorites: Caseus Fromagerie Bistro (grass-fed beef burger with blue cheese) , Basta Trattoria (Linguini Aglio e Olio), Arethusa Farm Dairy (Rasperry and Sweet Cream Chocolate Chip in a waffle cone)], and I experienced some intense nostalgia as I watched my little brother receive his diploma.

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On one of our 20,000+ step days we ran into Handsome Dan, the official Yale mascot.  It was an oddly emotional moment for everyone.  Henry had never actually met Handsome Dan, and it seemed sufficiently serendipitous that on his last walk around campus we’d come across the little guy.  

After flying in late to Minneapolis after a lackluster dinner of airport findings (Epic Beef Jerky and sweet potato chips for the win!), I could not wait to get back into my kitchen routine.  My mom has been nurturing heirloom rhubarb from my grandma’s original garden for many years, so this morning I became intent on a rhubarb something.  I went out to the garden and cut a stalk, noticed we had a big bag of frozen strawberries and landed upon strawberry rhubarb oatmeal.  From there things simply (quite literally a very simple process) progressed, and 20 minutes later I was sitting on the porch with a bowl of spring oatmeal.

This is definitely a rhubarb lovers recipe, and I am certainly very in love with rhubarb.  By itself the compote is very tart, but mixed in with oats, sunflower butter and granola the balance of flavors was perfect.  If you’re still acquainting yourself with rhubarb, cut down the amount you use.  You’ll still get the quintessential spring flavor!

FullSizeRenderStrawberry Rhubarb Compote

serves 1-2

The Stuff

1 large stalk rhubarb in 1/2 inch slices (for rhubarb lovers this is about 1/3 cup.  If you’re looking for a less tart flavor cut down to a scant 1/4 cup)

1 cup frozen whole strawberries

2 teaspoons maple syrup

1/4 teaspoon vanilla

A small pinch of sea salt

The How

1.  Place a non-stick pan over medium heat.  Add rhubarb, strawberries, sea salt, and tablespoon of water.  Cook, stirring occasionally, for 10-15 minutes.  For a narrative of how this will go: The strawberries and rhubarb will break down releasing liquid.  You’ll panic wondering how this will come together.  Then you’ll regain faith as the compote simmers, and the excess liquid begins to evaporate leaving you with a thicker mixture.  2. After 10-15 minutes, stir in maple syrup and vanilla. Reduce heat and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes.  Serve!  I had no problem finishing this up in one serving, but I am quite certain this could live beautifully in the fridge for a day or two.  I served atop oats, but I imagine this as a beautiful toast topping as well once cooled.

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