Photo: Chilled Strawberries With Warm Rhubarb Compote (Cookthink)
A compote comes from the French verb compoter, which means to cook something gently until it breaks down and reduces into a babyfood-like purée. Like applesauce. Or a spicy rhubarb compote that can be spooned over grilled pork or duck. Or a savory caramelized onion-fennel jam to smear on toasted bread. In a whole fruit compote like poached pears or simmered fresh apricots and cherries, the fruit is cooked gently in liquid and sugar until it softens and sweetens while still holding its shape, a good way to rescue not-quite-ripe fruit.