I consider myself an adventurous eater.  Will try just about anything (not for shock value, but rather owing to curiosity and an affinity for discovering new foods and flavors).  Somehow, rhubarb slipped through the cracks.  Am a bit of a newbie when it comes to preparing and eating rhubarb.

When I stopped at the farmers’ market the other day, I got to chatting with one of the farmers about rhubarb.  He went on and on about growing rhubarb, his particular variety of rhubarb, how good rhubarb is for you, etc.  A really nice guy — with a lot to say on the topic of rhubarb.  And so before I knew it, found myself with a bunch of rhubarb.

Did you know that rhubarb is not a fruit, but is actually a vegetable?

As I originally had no intention of coming home with rhubarb, wasn’t really sure what to do with it?

Decided to go simple.  Simple is good.  You don’t always need to reinvent the wheel.  Went with the classic pairing, rhubarb and strawberries — with a handful of mixed berries thrown in for a twist — in the form of a crumble.

I like a lot of crumble topping (who doesn’t?), which is nothing more than dark brown sugar, toasted slivered almonds, butter, spice (cinnamon), and a little flour.  The more crumble topping the better.

This dessert is best eaten the day of, that is, when still warm out of the oven and with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream on top.  When the cold ice cream meets the warm crumble — it makes a delicious mess.

Are you a rhubarb fan?

What are your favorite ways to utilize rhubarb??

Lots of local Irish rhubarb…

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Roasted Strawberry and Rhubarb…

I also roasted some rhubarb and strawberries (1 pound of each, sweetened with 1/3 cup of local honey) in the oven at 350F for 20-25 minutes.  After removing from the oven, add the juice of one lemon.  Cool.  Bottle.  Refrigerate for a day or two.

After a few days in the fridge, the rhubarb and strawberries developed a lovely flavor.  The sauce thickened up a bit and the rhubarb and strawberries were tender and sweet (but not too sweet) — perfect for a yogurt parfait with a sprinkling of my homemade granola.

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Love homemade granola.  The only downfall is that I can’t seem to put it down and frequently find myself devouring an entire batch in one sitting.  You can find the recipe for granola here.

Served in jars, great for breakfast on the go…


Rhubarb and Mixed Berry Crumble

1 pound of rhubarb, trimmed and cut into ~1/2″ pieces
2 cups strawberries, stemmed and quartered
1 cup mixed frozen (or fresh, when in season) berries (such as blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, black/red currants)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces, plus extra for buttering the baking dish
1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar (plus extra for preparing the baking dish)
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 vanilla bean, split and scraped (optional)
2 tablespoons lemon juice
crumble topping (recipe below)
vanilla ice cream for serving

Preheat the oven to 375F.  Coat the bottom and sides of a (10″) baking dish with butter.  Sprinkle sugar over the bottom and sides.  Tap out the excess sugar.

Whisk 1/2 cup of sugar, cornstarch, ginger, and cinnamon in a bowl.  Add the vanilla bean if using.  Add the rhubarb, strawberries, mixed berries, lemon juice, and 2 tablespoons butter.  Toss all the ingredients together and place in the prepared baking dish.  Sprinkle the crumble topping over the rhubarb-berry mixture.  Bake in the middle part of the oven until the mixture is bubbling and rhubarb is tender, about 45-60 minutes.

Serve warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Crumble Topping

6 tablespoons butter, room temperature
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup sliced almonds, toasted (on a baking sheet at 300 degrees, 5 to 10 minutes, until light to medium golden brown), then roughly chopped
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon salt

Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl.  Massage with your fingers until it forms a crumbly paste.

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