Rhubarb compote is a happy childhood memory for me. Everything about it makes me smile:
from the thrill of finding the first stalks of rhubarb in the supermarket (oh my god is that RHUBARB over there outta my way lady yes it is oh yay it is RHUBARB SEASON so it must be SPRING yes yes yes I love spring THIS IS AMAZING I need to buy rhubarb more rhubarb oh it’s so PRETTY I should really get a dress in that shade of pink perhaps asos has something oh isn’t life great in spring I need MORE RHUBARB where are the lemons I need to make rhubarb compote there they are even the LEMONS look more happy in spring move your damn shopping cart lady) to its weird, faintly off-putting smell which kinda makes me feel super smug (ha if you knew what deliciousness I can coax out of this weird smelling vegetable which you fool just walked past in the supermarket why wouldn’t you buy any you weirdo it’s the first RHUBARB OF THE SEASON so it’s SPRING oh my god – etc etc) the lovely pink and light green colours (perhaps I could paint the bedroom wall it really is a very nice uplifting colour – etc etc) to the naughtiness of heaping spoonful after spoonful of sugar on top and watching it turn pink….
I lost my sweet tooth and gained some hips since I was a kid, so when I make rhubarb compote nowadays, I’ll forgo the heaps of sugar and do it like this:
4 stalks rhubarb / 1 lime / 3 lime leaves / 1 tsp whole cloves / 1 tsp stevia / pinch of coriander seeds
Cut the rhubarb stalks into 1 cm pieces and put into a wide pot, add 3 (frozen) lime leaves – the kind you’d use in a thai curry – and fill with water until the rhubarb pieces are almost covered. If using organic, untreated limes, quarter it and slice one quarter very thinly, add into the pot and don’t use all the lime juice it would yield. Otherwise, use just the juice. Add the stevia (or sweetener of your choice) and stir to dissolve. Bring to a boil, leave on for a minute and take off the heat. Let it cool down, stick in the fridge and don’t serve until it’s icy cold.