In the theme of spring, baby goats jumping about fields, goat cheese, and the most amazing sweet strawberries I’ve tasted in years (are they candy, are they strawberries, are they candy-strawberries?), I wanted to share again with you one of my favorite recipes for cheese. I developed this recipe after talking to my relatives in Minnesota last year about our local farmer’s markets. Mine seemed almost completely red they were so flooded with strawberries, I told them. Walking through their’s, they said, felt like they were wading in rhubarb.
Now, I love the combo of strawberries and rhubarb. And I love pie. And I see where someone else might have gone with this. But since I also love goat cheese, and strawberries and rhubarb taste awesome with goat cheese, and and I am worse at making pie dough then I am at holding to new year’s resolutions of being able to do a pull-up by the end of May, I decided to focus on a strawberry-rhubarb balsamic compote instead that pairs excellently with cheese. Win-win?
It’s sweet, but it’s also tart. It’s dessert-like, but it’s also has enough freshness to it that you could spoon it over your oatmeal in the morning and feel like you were getting a serving of fruit (in a completely gratuitous way).
The cheese I created the recipe for is Pug’s Leap Pavé, above. Pug’s Leap is a much-loved Petaluma creamery that went out of commission for a while while transitioning to different ownership. Well, as of about two years ago, it’s back, and producing lovely bloomy-rinded, French styles that are lively, thick and flaky, and slice-ready for being put on a crostini with strawberry-rhubarb balsamic compote. And not only do they make their own cheese, they supply milk for the lovely Gypsy Rose family too. And did I mention that they have a flying pug on the label?
Try this compote next time you have brunch, serve a heavy meal and want to keep your dessert light, or, over ice cream or yogurt. Then keep your leftovers for toast or oatmeal the next morning.
Strawberry Rhubarb Balsamic Compote
Strawberry Rhubarb Compote
1/2 pound rhubarb- sliced half an inch thick
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon granulated white sugar
1 tablespoon honey
1/8 tablespoon freshly ground pepper
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 cups sliced strawberries- sliced a quarter inch thick.
In a medium saucepan, combine the rhubarb, sugar, pepper, honey, and balsamic and stir with a wooden spoon. On high heat, warm until the balsamic starts bubbling. Once bubbly, reduce heat to medium-low. Cover the pot with a lid, leaving it slightly ajar so steam can escape. Cook for seven minutes, lifting lid to stir occasionally. Take off the lid and cook for two more minutes, or until half of the rhubarb in the pan is soft and dissolving, like in the fifth photo above. Add the strawberries to the pot and stir. Continue cooking on medium-high heat for ten to fifteen more minutes, until the strawberries start to soften, but still keep their shape. Cool, then serve with your favorite goat cheese!