What the heck is a compote anyway? I dunno exactly, but I made one with these beautiful red huckleberries foraged not too far from home in a park loaded with hikers who pass these bushes by in numbers that must make the poor huckleberries think they suffer from an extreme case of cooties.
Because they’re more tart (tarter?) than most other species of huckleberry, red hucks are good candidates for jam or sauce. Plus, they look terrific atop a cut of meat or fillet of fish. Probably the most enduring way to enjoy huckleberry sauce (or compote) is with a game bird or pork loin, but don’t write off the “fibbies,” as my daughter calls them. Last year I made a somewhat different sauce for rockfish; this time I aimed for something a little chunkier. It’s a sweet sauce, so depending on your tolerance for sugar, you may want to adjust.
1 1/2 cups red huckleberries
1/4 cup port
1/2 cup sugar
1 tbsp balsamic
1/8 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1 tbsp lemon juice
4 6-8 oz halibut fillets (or other white flakey fish)
1. In a saucepan bring ingredients to a boil over medium heat, lower heat, and reduce until syrupy. Keep warm until ready to serve. Makes enough sauce for 4 servings.
2. Slice halibut fillet into serving portions and arrange on a greased broiling pan. Season with salt and pepper, brush on melted butter, and drizzle with lemon juice. Broil 4 to 6 inches from burner, about 10 minutes per inch of fillet thickness.