When using rhubarb in my cooking classes, I am always surprised at how few people have tried much less cooked with rhubarb. I always enjoy the tart crisp freshness of rhubarb in a pie, cobbler, or jam. I have also pureed it and added to brownies and ice cream. Try it this Spring!
Rhubarb is a thick, celerylike stalk that can grow up to 2 feet long.Though rhubarb
is generally eaten as a fruit, it’s botanically a vegetable.Rhubarb is an
extremely tart food with cherry red stalks and green leaves. The peak season for rhubarb is from April to June. Choose crisp stalks
that are brightly hued. The leaves should be fresh-looking and blemish-free. Highly
perishable, fresh rhubarb should be refrigerated, tightly wrapped in a plastic bag,
for up to 3 days. Because it is extremely tart,rhubarb is usually combined with a considerable amount of sugar. It
makes delicious sauces, jams and desserts. A traditional flavor combination is rhubarb and strawberries.
The recipe below uses rhubarb only but you could certainly substitute strawberries or raspberries for a portion of the rhubarb.
Serves 6 to 8
6 Tablespoons cold butter, cut into small pieces
2 1/2 to 3 pounds rhubarb, tough strings removed, and cut into 1/2 inch pieces (@ 5 to 6 cups)
1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon orange or lemon juice
1 teaspoon orange or lemon zest
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup pecans
Heat the oven to 375 degrees.
Grease an 8 or 9 inch square baking dish with a little butter
Toss rhubarb with sugar, orange or lemon juice and zest, and spread in a baking dish.
Put the 6 tablespoons butter in a food processor along with the brown sugar, flour, cinnamon and salt. Pulse for 20 to 30 seconds ~ just until it looks like small peas and begins to clump together.
Add the oats and pecans and pulse a few times to combine.
Crumble the topping over rhubarb and bake until golden and beginning to brown ~ 45 to 50 minutes.