The CSA where I currently work sent me off with some beautiful, fresh, straight-from-the-garden rhubarb the other day. In my family’s garden where I’ve worked every summer since I was a kid, we grow pretty much every kind of vegetable you could ever think of, that is, except rhubarb. So with no previous experience handling rhubarb, I wasn’t quite sure what to do with the foreign food that had been laid in my hands. However, I did happen to know a few things about it: 1) Rhubarb is technically a vegetable that is most often paired with fruit in the culinary world. 2) Its leaves are poisonous. 3) It’s really sour on its own. 4) It’s often combined with strawberries, presumably because they both arrive in season around the same time each year. 5) It’s typically used in baking, such as pies, crisps, muffins, crumbles, etc. 6) Enough people enjoy it to keep it around at the farmer’s markets…So I knew it was certainly worth using, and after combining the little that I did know about rhubarb, I decided on making a crisp that would include a pint of strawberries I had just picked up at a local Amish farm on my way home from work.
The result of the crisp: DELICIOUS. I will definitely be utilizing rhubarb again. I can see why it’s so often used in baking. It’s tart taste paired with the sweetness of a little sugar is absolutely perfect. Warm rhubarb crisp with a little bit of vanilla ice cream…spring couldn’t get much more delightful.
-1 cup whole-wheat pastry flour
-1/3 cup oats
-3/4 cup brown sugar
-1/8 tsp. salt
-6 tbsp. butter, melted
-1/2 cup pecans
Mix flour, oats, sugar, and salt. Stir butter and pecans. Pinch into crumbly balls and place in freezer while filling is being prepared.
-2 pounds rhubarb, sliced
-1 pint of strawberries, sliced
-1/3 cup cane sugar
-1/4 cup whole-wheat pastry flour
-1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
-1/2 tsp. orange zest
-1/4 tsp. salt
Preheat oven to 375F. Mix all of the above ingredients. Place in an 8 x 8 inch baking dish. Spread topping evenly over the top. Bake in oven for 40 minutes, or until crisp is bubbly and begins to brown. Let cool for ten minutes. Serve with vanilla ice cream.