This easy low-sugar combination of strawberries, tart rhubarb and mint is delicious and colorful, whether used in a pie, cobbler, crisp or parfait. Rhubarb is simmered gently in just a little water, then cooked for a few more minutes with chopped strawberries, mint and maple syrup. A strawberry-rhubarb-mint compote couldn't be easier!
What is a compote, anyway?
Turns out it means fruit preserved or cooked in syrup. This can mean lots of sugar is added. I have had rhubarb cooked that way, especially if it’s the only fruit in the compote or pie filling.
But one of my culinary goals is to reduce my sugar intake without using artificial sweeteners. Enter the wonderful strawberry, which adds sweetness to the mix without overwhelming the rhubarb flavor. This way the amount of maple syrup can be very small.
Why Rhubarb is Sour
I love the tartness and unique flavor of rhubarb. It’s tart because it contains oxalic acid, which can be irritating if eaten uncooked. The leaves contain more oxalic acid than the stems, which is why they are usually not eaten. Other plants that contain oxalic acid are spinach and taro.
If you've ever felt stickiness on your teeth after eating raw spinach, that's the oxalic acid. And raw or undercooked taro can give you a sore throat! (1)
Rhubarb for Spring Baking
Rhubarb is in season in Colorado from May to September, so I look forward to being able to make this compote for that whole time. I’m dreaming of so many baked goods!
Mint is flourishing in our yard too, and it adds a wonderful freshness to this mix. It doesn’t take very much, and the trick is to chop it very fine. The fine chopping releases the mint oils and keeps the diner from finding any tough leaves in their dessert.
How else can I use this compote?
Once your compote is finished you have so many choices! You could:
Use it as the filling in a crisp like this Apple Blueberry Crisp; Paleo and Gluten-Free
Layer it in these Strawberry-Rhubarb Mint Parfaits
Just have it with some yogurt, mmm.
Kitchen items used in this recipe
You will need a soup pot or Dutch oven with a good cover to make this strawberry-rhubarb-mint compote. I like being able to see through the glass lid of this Cooks Standard pot, plus that it's 18/10 stainless steel and has a layer of aluminum in the base for even heating.
Also, since you need so little maple syrup, invest in good quality. We used to buy only Grade B Maple Syrup because it contained the most minerals. Now that grade is sold as A and labeled "previously Grade B". I also prefer to purchase items packaged in glass, which Coombs Family does.
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- 2-3 cups about 1 pound rhubarb stems, leaves removed, ends trimmed, sliced into ½ inch pieces
- 2 – 3 cups sliced strawberries about 1½ pounds
- ½ cup water
- 2-3 tablespoons maple syrup or to taste
- 1 tablespoon spearmint or peppermint chopped fine
- Combine the rhubarb, maple syrup, and water in a pan. Cover and simmer gently until the rhubarb starts to fall apart, between 7-10 minutes.
- As the rhubarb simmers, each time you remove the cover to check it, discard any water that has collected in the lid of the pan.
- Next, add the strawberries and cook 5 minutes more.
- Add the mint and cook a few minutes longer.
- Cool and taste to decide if it’s sweet enough for your preference.
- Use as a topping for a cheesecake, layer in a parfait, bake it into a crisp or dollop onto yogurt or granola.
- Information about the oxalates in rhubarb was derived from this article.
Yum! I love rhubarb so much! This sounds perfect!
Kendra, I'm a real fan of rhubarb too. And this is such an easy prep and so versatile.
This strawberry rhubarb and mint compote looks amazing! I would have never thought to add mint, but I can imagine it adds a wonderful fresh flavor. I will definitely have to try this out!
Morgan, the mint makes a subtle difference but I love it, both for the taste and the aroma. Let me know if you have a chance to try it!
I can't wait to get my hands on some rhubarb to try this out. It looks fantastic.
Erika, I hope you will find some soon! It's very easy and tasty, thanks.
Angela Greven | Mean Green Chef
Such a beautiful summer recipe, I love the addition of mint and I'm sure it's the perfect compliment to this compote! We used to make strawberry rhubarb pie up in the Adirondacks during the summer months, brings back great memories 🙂
Aha, my son has asked for a strawberry rhubarb pie for Father's Day, the rhubarb hunt is on. And you are right, the mint is a wonderful surprise. I can imagine summers in the Adirondacks, how lovely.