I’m finding myself sharing proportionally many more Eastern European inspired recipes than I actually cook. It seems that Eastern European cuisines don’t get a lot of spotlight in the blog world, but there’s a lot of really juicy stuff in there. Whenever I consider sharing something here, it has to meet certain criteria. The recipe has to be somewhat nutritious by my standards, easy to make, and fairy unique in the sense that I’ve either heavily improvised it or it’s a recipe that isn’t commonly found online. My mom’s cooking often comes to mind and I’m starting to experiment with dishes that I’ve always taken for granted since she makes them really well. I don’t really make anything better, but the results end up being an interesting fusion of what I would intuitively cook, while trying to maintain the essence of some of my childhood favourites. Perfect blog material!
I always thought that “kompot”, a fruit drink made by cooking fruit in a large pot of water, was a stolen version of French “compote”. A quick Google search revealed that they’re actually completely different things, even though they share most of the ingredients. This was one of my favourite drinks growing up. It can be consumed hot like tea, cold like juice, mixed into cocktails or smoothies. Traditionally it’s sweetened with sugar, and as a kid, I loved it. All grown up, I now prefer it completely unsweetened. It tastes like a super flavourful and completely natural fruity herbal tea. Overripe fruit shines, bruises are forgiven, and almost anything goes as far as fruit variety. I recently found myself with collection of peaches, nectarines, plums, and cherries so they are going to be the stars of the show. The fruit is usually served with the drink, but mine turned to mush, so I filtered the drink and am using the “stonefruit sauce” for smoothies.
- lemon thyme (or regular thyme)
- Remove pits from the fruit (cherries can be left in tact) and slice.
- Add to a pot to fill about 1/3 or it with the sliced fruit. Add water almost to the top.
- Bring to a boil over high heat, then lower to bring to a simmer.
- Add lemon-thyme and let the kompot simmer slowly for about 20 minutes, or until desired fruit softness is reached. If you want to eat the fruit as part of the drink, stop cooking before it gets mushy, otherwise I find that cooking it longer makes the drink more flavourful.
- Turn off the heat and cover, allowing the fruit and thyme to further infuse the drink while cooling.
- Strain through a fine-mesh strainer, reserving the fruit. Line the strainer with a cheesecloth and strain again.
- Add the fruit back or keep it for smoothies.