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If you love brunch and seasonal nosh, then you’ll love this French Toast with Strawberry Rhubarb Compote. Try it with a basil infusion!

French toast getting a drizzle of maple syrup.

Plated French toast smothered with compote and fresh strawberries.

Hey! Hello. I’m coming at you early this week in hopes to inspire your Mother’s Day plans.

I hated brunch as a kid. Whenever the family got together at some chain or hotel restaurant for Easter or Mother’s Day, I dreaded it. Soggy bacon, lukewarm eggs, sad pancakes… typical 80s and 90s brunch. (Where I come from, anyway.) Thankfully, the late-morning meal has evolved into something worth being excited about. We can forget about the mundane specials at chain restaurants and opt for fresh takes on Southern cuisine, Caribbean soul food, and Mexican mash-ups; even breweries are jumping onto the brunch train! It’s really no wonder us “millennials” are brunch-obsessed. We know what’s good.

I live far away from family, so I don’t get to spend time with my ma. But! This year, this gal gets to be treated to Mother’s Day brunch for the first time ever :) Little R won’t be here until June, but look at my bump. If that doesn’t deserve to be filled with a tower of fat syrup-drenched waffles stuffed with spiced apples and candied nuts, what does.

Photo of pregnant Dana.

However, sometimes it’s nice to avoid the bustling crowded restaurants and treat Mum to brunch at home. Made with love, by you ;)

That’s where this French Toast with Strawberry Rhubarb Compote comes in.

Rhubarb season seems to get people excited—as it should! That tartness goes a long way when baked into sweet fruity desserts. I decided to make a basil-infused strawberry rhubarb compote to smother over crispy French toast in hopes to inspire some at-home Mother’s Day nosh. You can use it instead of syrup, but my Canadian blood doesn’t allow snubbing syrup, so I used both. And it was delicious.

You can skip the basil infusion. I’m just a sucker for adding herbaceous notes to anything fruity where I can and this worked out nicely. It’s subtle!

Some other things I’ve been digging into…

Instagram! Here’s another jaw-dropping feed for you. These are just too pretty to eat. Look at those succulents!

Podcasts! The Splendid Table gives a well-deserved nod to mother’s and their influence in the kitchen, including Priya and Ritu Krishna, authors of Indian (-ish). We get to listen in as they make Dahi toast and it. sounds. incredible.

“Local” food! What does it mean to you? According to this article, the connotation and goals vary greatly from person to person, mostly due to a lack of guidelines. I’m not sure if this is the start of something good or just proof of a confused trend, but I’m hoping it’s the former.

Hope you have an amazing week and an amazing Mother’s Day, however you decide to celebrate!

Ingredient collage with strawberries, basil, rhubarb, and sliced fresh bread.

Strawberry rhubarb compote with basil infusion.

Close up of fresh strawberries fanned over French toast.

If you try this recipe or create your own variation, let me know in the comments! I love connecting with you. Then snap a photo and tag me on the Insta @killing__thyme to be featured in our newsletter.

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French Toast with Strawberry Rhubarb Compote

If you love seasonal nosh, then you'll love this French Toast with Strawberry Rhubarb Compote. Try it with a basil infusion!
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Compote cook time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 7 minutes
Servings: 2 servings
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Strawberry Rhubarb Compote {with basil infusion option}.

  • 2 cups roughly chopped fresh strawberries
  • 2 cups roughly chopped fresh rhubarb
  • Zest of 1/2 a lemon
  • Juice of 1/2 a lemon
  • 1/4 cup raw honey (+ more to taste)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup freshly chopped basil leaves—about 10 of them (optional)


  • If infusing with basil, you will need a tea infuser, empty tea bag, or cheese cloth

French Toast.

  • 4 slices fresh bread
  • 3 large eggs, beaten
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 TBSP ground cinnamon
  • 1-2 TBSP butter


Strawberry Rhubarb Compote {with basil infusion option}.

  • Mix the strawberries, rhubarb, lemon juice, honey, and water in a medium-sized sauce pan. Place over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Once boiling, decrease the heat to low and let the mixture simmer for about 30-45 minutes, or until you reach the consistency you desire.
  • If you're infusing the compote with basil, add the chopped basil to a tea infuser or tie it up in a tea bag or small cheese cloth and place it into the mixture as it simmers for the length of simmering time.
  • Once the compote has reached the consistency you prefer, remove the infuser (if using), and set the compote aside to cool. 

French toast.

  • In a medium-sized bowl or shallow dish, whisk together the egg, milk, vanilla, and cinnamon.
  • Heat a large non-stick pan or cast iron skillet over medium heat. Melt half the butter into it. Drench your first slice of bread into the egg mixture until it's completely absorbed, then place on your hot buttery skillet. Add another drenched slice of bread if you've got room for two. Fry the bread slices until golden brown and slightly crisped on each side, about 2-4 minutes. Continue until all of your slices of bread have been cooked.
  • Serve with the strawberry rhubarb compote and, if you'd like, fresh strawberries, fresh basil leaves, and maple syrup.
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