Homemade Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

As much as I love eating ice cream, the thought of making my own had never really occurred to me. I don’t have an ice cream maker and there’s no shortage of shops in the city, so why bother? But now that I have a food blog—and readers—I’m constantly looking for ways to expand my culinary horizons. Plus, I’ve noticed a lot of other bloggers making their own frozen treats, and when one of my favorites, Brown Eyed Baker, posted a recipe for mint chocolate chip, followed by another post on how to make it without any special equipment, I was sold on the project.

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Strawberry Rhubarb Compote

I saw rhubarb at the Greenmarket yesterday and since I had strawberries in the fridge, I figured I’d combine these two seasonal fruits once again. I didn’t want to make another crisp and then I remembered a post for compote that I saw on my friend Carl’s fantastic blog Dinner In My Inbox. I quickly logged onto his site and decided a compote would do just fine, especially spooned over the chocolate ice cream from Ronnybrook Farm Dairy that I also picked up at the Greenmarket. I didn’t have enough rhubarb to make the recipe on Carl’s site and I didn’t feel like tweaking the amounts to balance what I did have (is it just me or does this heat make thinking more difficult?) so I logged onto Epicurious. I found this recipe, which called for about a pound of rhubarb. The five stalks I had were close enough.  I followed some of the other users suggestions and only used a half cup of sugar rather than 3/4 and it was plenty sweet. The mint adds a refreshing twist, so if you have it, add it in!  The compote took about 10 minutes to prepare before it went into the refrigerator to chill. A delightfully quick way to use seasonal produce. We ate it over ice cream, but I bet it would be delicious on pound cake too.

Also, a note about strawberries: The Environmental Working Group just released their Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides, a  list of the fruits and vegetables that have the most and least pesticide residue on them and strawberries were one of the worst offenders! (Number three behind celery and peaches.) So if you’re going to eat strawberries, buy organic or from a local grower you trust. It’s a bit more expensive, but so worth it.

Rhubarb and Strawberry Compote with Fresh Mint

3 cups 1/2-inch-wide pieces fresh rhubarb (cut from about 1 pound)
3/4 cup sugar

1/4 cup water

1 1-pint container fresh strawberries, hulled, halved

2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint

Combine rhubarb, sugar, and 1/4 cup water in heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Bring to simmer, stirring occasionally, until sugar dissolves, about 3 minutes. Simmer gently until rhubarb is tender but not falling apart, stirring occasionally, about 7 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in strawberries. Transfer to bowl and stir in mint. Chill until cold, about 1 hour.