People who know me would tell you that it's hard to tell which I like more: gardening or cooking. I'd say it depends on which I'm doing at the moment. Anyway, French cooking and French gardening go hand in hand. For me, cooking is an on-going adventure. Join me here on my culinary explorations, where I share with you both my old favorites as well as new inspirations. It's my fondest wish that these recipes serve as a springboard for your own new creations.
05/31/2007 Rhubarb-strawberry-rose compote Compote rhubarbe-fraise à la rose)
1 lb. garden rhubarb, cut into 1/2" pieces 1/2-2/3 c. sugar, or more to taste 1 heaping pint garden strawberries 1 large or 2 medium very fragrant organic roses
Toss the rhubarb with the sugar and leave to macerate for 2 hours to overnight. Refrigerate if you leave it for more than 6 hours. Heat the mixture to a boil in a noncorrosive saucepan. Reduce the heat and cook gently until the rhubarb just starts to fall apart. Add the hulled strawberries, halving them if they are large. Continue cooking 5 minutes. Grasp the rose petals all together and tug gently to free them from their calyx. Slice off the bottom 1/4" of the petals which sometimes tastes bitter. Slice the remaining petals into ribbons and add to the rhubarb-strawberry compote. Stir gently and simmer for one minute. Serve as is or with a dollop of Greek yogurt, crème fraîche, or vanilla ice-cream. Fantastic with French toast.
Note: You can't imagine the magic that the flavor of rose petals adds to the already winning rhubarb-strawberry mix. Simple but extraordinary.