Christmas Strawberry and Basil Compote

Renée Naturally Qualified Naturopath, Nutritionist & Western Medical Herbalist

Strawberries are synonymous with summer and a bright and warm New Zealand Christmas. Be it sliced on the top of a pavlova, chocolate dipped, or delightfully simple with some vanilla ice cream. They scream summer, as does this creative spin on a classic strawberry sauce. This ruby beauty has a sophisticated depth to it thanks to the herbaceous addition of basil. Try this compote dolloped on sponge cakes or the festive pavlova or drizzled on Christmas morning French toast. However you decide to use it, it looks like the jolly part of any summer celebration. Oh, and did I mention that it is a breeze to make, and can be prepared well in advance of any occasion? Now that makes for a happy Christmas indeed!


Health Bite: Strawberries are an excellent source of Vitamin C and manganese. Strawberries are a good source of antioxidants, which can help which can help to reduce oxidative stress. Strawberries are low in calories and are one of the healthier of the sweet summer treats, so dig in!




  • 2 cups of fresh strawberries, rinsed and sliced into quarters
  • 1/2 cup of honey
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup packed basil leaves



  1. Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally and adjusting heat to keep it at a good simmer but not a boil.
  2. When the strawberries begin to break down, you can help them along by crushing them with a wooden spoon potato masher.
  3. Once the strawberries are about halfway broken down and it’s just starting to resemble a chunky jam, taste test to see if it needs more honey or basil. Add to taste.
  4. Remove from heat and allow to cool completely. Please, note, the compote will thicken slightly as it cools.
  5. Once cooled, remove the basil leaves with a slotted spoon or fork.
  6. To serve, this looks pretty with a few fresh basil leaves a top.
  7. Enjoy!

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