It’s that glorious time of year again in New Jersey as June approaches. No, not graduation time, or wedding time, but strawberry time! Nothing beats a freshly picked, ripe red strawberry from New Jersey (except maybe Jersey tomatoes) and these juicy beauties were too lovely to resist. So naturally I didn’t. How could you say no to perfect specimens like these?
Those first farm-fresh berries deserved to be eaten in their raw state, with all their juicy goodness and crimson color intact. How about cooking the rhubarb and letting it cool, then adding the fresh strawberries to create a colorful, fresh sauce or compote? Raise your hand if you’re with me, then get out there and get yourself some really good strawberries and rhubarb. This sauce would be great over yogurt for breakfast, or as a topping on angel food or pound cake.
Looking for some other ideas for those plump, juicy strawberries? Here are a few:
Strawberry Rhubarb Sauce or compote
2 cups rhubarb, sliced
1/3 cup orange juice
1/2 cup sugar
2 T. Grand Marnier or Cointreau
1 T. vanilla
1 cup cut-up strawberries (or more to your liking)
Place orange juice and sugar in a saucepan and let it cook for about five minutes at high heat, or until it’s slightly reduced (about 1/4 of the way reduced.) Add the rhubarb and cook about three or four minutes – NO LONGER THAN THAT – or you’ll end up with rhubarb mush, not distinct pieces. Here’s what it should look like after a few minutes cooking:
Take it off heat and stir in the vanilla and Grand Marnier. Let it cool, then add about a cup of cut-up strawberries and let it sit for a half hour or so. Serves four over ice cream, cakes, yogurt, etc.