Stories / Recipes

The Surprising Key to the Perfect Compote

Frank Guerriero

July 24, 2019


Photo: Keirnan Monaghan and Theo Vamvounakis

In the #WasteNot camp, we constantly encounter produce that has reached the fateful stage of “past its prime.” But don’t despair—those bruised fruits and wilted veggies are actually perfect for particular delectable uses. For instance, as summer berries become overripe, their sugars develop and the cell structure of their skins breaks down, creating an ideal candidate for jams, preserves, or Jennifer Hill Booker’s recipe for a mixed berry compote. Hill Booker simmers these softened gems with lemon juice and zest, a pinch of salt, and perhaps some brown sugar (if you think they really need it). Once the mixture has cooled and thickened, it’s ready to take your waffles, crêpes, or ice cream to the next level. So gather up those forgotten bowls of mid-summer gold, get the recipe, and make it tonight.

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The James Beard Foundation's new cookbook, Waste Not: How to Get the Most from Your Food, offers up a host of delicious solutions to the pressing problem of food waste. Featuring 100 recipes from alumni of our Chefs Boot Camp for Policy and ChangeWaste Not will teach you how to turn every root, bone, rind, and stem into an irresistible dish.

Waste Not: How to Get the Most from Your Food, published by Rizzoli,​ is on sale now.​ Order your copy today!

Frank Guerriero is the media assistant at the Beard Foundation. Find him on Instagram.