Mulberries at my local farmer’s market recently reminded me of last summer’s compote, so I’ve mixed up another batch! This is the time of year when I just have berries on the brain — my undersized fridge was already full-to-bursting with strawberries, blueberries and raspberries when I picked up these mulberries, but I couldn’t resist. (I have plans for some kind of mixed berry soup featuring creamy Greek yogurt. More to come on that — possibly as soon as tomorrow!)
Last year’s mulberry purchase was my first. They look like elongated blackberries, with little stems sticking out of each one. After tasting a few — sweet, somewhat delicate, not much acidity — I decided to make this quick compote. I used limes to brighten things up, but you could easily use lemon or key limes or blood oranges, depending on the season and what you have on hand.
I’ll spend the rest of the week using it up, swirling some into yogurt, topping breakfast porridge, and making an upscale PB&J. And I can see it topping any kind of creamy dessert, from cheesecake to panna cotta. But this treatment was my favorite, and also the most wine-friendly. A slathering of fresh chevre on slices of dense, but mildly flavored rye toast.
Pairing: Citrusy Summer White Wine
Light, juicy, featuring pretty citrus and little-to-no pungency or oak is the ticket here. Albariño, Vinho Verde, no-oak Viognier, light and dry Riesling, easy Sauvignon Blancs — these are all good choices. Here are a few I’ve enjoyed lately:
McKinley Springs 2009 Viognier Horse Heaven Hills ($14). Crisp, tasty, white flowers, tangerine, lime, concentrated apricot, fresh finish. Find it!
McManis 2011 Viognier California ($11). Light and easy, a little neutral in flavor for a Viognier, but pleasant enough for the price; finishes crisp. Find it!
Clayhouse 2011 Adobe White California ($14). Viognier-blend, aromatic peach, white floral, light citrus, savory herbs. Bright and easy. Find it!
Mayacamas 2010 Sauvignon Blanc Mt. Veeder ($25). Pretty, bright, crisp, lime, pink grapefruit, blood orange, mineral, grassy notes through the finish. Find it!
Raymond 2011 Sauvignon Blanc Napa Valley Reserve Selection ($18). Melon, lemongrass, citrus, mango, clean and pretty. Find it!
Matanzas Creek 2011 Sauvignon Blanc Sonoma County ($20). Loads of pretty citrus, ripe tropical notes, juicy, bright and concentrated. Find it!
Cadaretta 2011 Sauvignon Blanc/Semillon Columbia Valley ($23). Kinda loved this wine — it disappeared way too fast. Pure, intense, layered citrus, slate, nice complexity, brightness. Find it!
David Hill 2011 Pinot Gris Willamette Valley ($16). Delightful, juicy lime, melon, fresh herbs, and an apple peel note on the finish. Find it!
Recipe: Mulberry-Lime Compote
2 cups mulberries (de-stemmed, if you have more patience than I have)
a scant 1/4 cup cane sugar
2 large limes, juiced
1 teaspoon corn starch
2 tablespoons cold water
Put the mulberries, lime juice and sugar in to a small saucepan and bring to a simmer. Use a fork or potato masher to smash the mulberries, leaving a few nearly-whole berries in the mix. Simmer gently for 15 minutes.
In a small bowl, mix the corn starch with the water until completely dissolved. Add to the mulberries, stir to combine, and continue to cook — stirring frequently — for 5 minutes. Makes about 1 cup of compote.