Strawberry-Rhubarb Compote With Fennel Recipe

Photograph: Vicky Wasik

Why It Works

  • Cooking the rhubarb first allows it to fully soften and break down, creating a thick sauce.
  • Fennel seed adds an intriguing sweet-savory note that works well in all applications.

This classic springtime combination, spiked with the anise flavor of fennel seed, is incredibly versatile: Just add more or less sugar to suit your taste. If left more tart, it's perfect with a grilled or seared pork chop; slightly sweeter, and it's great as a breakfast topping for yogurt, waffles, or pancakes; sweeten it even more and you can use it on an ice cream sundae. As written, the recipe hits the middle spot, good for breakfast or a not-too-sweet dessert. Feel free to adjust to your own preferences.

Recipe Facts

Active: 20 mins
Total: 20 mins
Serves: 16 servings
Makes: 1 quart

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  • 3/4 pound (350g) rhubarb, diced

  • 10 ounces (300g) strawberries, hulled and quartered

  • Up to 1/2 cup (100g) sugar (see note)

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground fennel seed (from about 3/4 teaspoon whole seeds)

  • Pinch kosher salt


  1. In a medium saucepan, combine rhubarb with 1/2 cup water and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Lower heat to maintain a fast simmer, cover, and cook until rhubarb is fully softened and beginning to break down, about 4 minutes.

  2. Uncover and add strawberries, sugar to taste (see note), fennel, and salt. Continue to cook uncovered over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until strawberries are very soft and plump, about 10 minutes; if compote becomes too thick during cooking, add a small amount of water to thin slightly. Serve hot or cold. Compote will keep for up to 5 days refrigerated in a sealed container.


Feel free to adjust the amount of sugar to taste.

This Recipe Appears In

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
35 Calories
0g Fat
9g Carbs
0g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 16
Amount per serving
Calories 35
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 6mg 0%
Total Carbohydrate 9g 3%
Dietary Fiber 1g 3%
Total Sugars 7g
Protein 0g
Vitamin C 13mg 64%
Calcium 23mg 2%
Iron 0mg 1%
Potassium 93mg 2%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)