, , , , , , , ,

This is my first installment of kidoing! In Season Cooking, starring…….Rhubarb! I hope this series will help you figure out what to do with all your beautiful in season produce.

I don’t have much experience cooking with rhubarb.  I don’t think I ate it until I was an adult, but not for any particular reason.  It just wasn’t something that landed on our dinner table growing up.

Recently, I have read wonderful things about the health benefits of rhubarb and even watched Rip Esselstyn (author of Engine 2 Diet and son of Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn) talk about its antioxidants on Dr. Oz.

While having a specific reason to eat something helps, I think any fruit or veggie grown in nature has a place in my diet and a reason to be eaten…including rhubarb!  One word of caution, though – do not eat the leaves! They are poisonous.

Since rhubarb is an early season crop, we received some in our first CSA box.  It sat in my refrigerator for several days as I paged through cookbooks and scrolled up and down blogs looking for a great rhubarb recipe that didn’t require a ton of sugar.  I found recipes for pies, compotes, jams, tarts and crisps.  The recipe I settled on was a simple one for strawberry-rhubarb crisp that appeared in Barbara Kingsolver’s Animal Vegetable Miracle.

I adapted the crisp recipe to suit my needs and here it is:

Strawberry-Rhubarb Crisp

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

  • 3 cups strawberries, hulled and sliced
  • 3 cups rhubarb, diced
  • 1/4 cup honey (or as needed depending on the sweetness of the strawberries)
  • zest and juice of one half lemon

Add these ingredients to a square baking dish (8 X 8 or comparable) and mix thoroughly.

  • 1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup maple sugar
  • 3/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp allspice
  • 1/4 cup Earth Balance
  • 1/8 tsp sea salt

Combine remaining ingredients in bowl until crumbly.  Sprinkle on top of strawberry-rhubarb mixture.

Bake about 40 minutes until top is golden brown.

I made several tweaks such as using maple sugar instead of refined sugar, whole wheat pastry flour instead of all-purpose and Earth Balance instead of butter (as much as I love butter, we are a dairy-free house).  I also added the juice and zest of half of a lemon (something I always add to any crisp) and a little salt to the topping.  This recipe is almost vegan – for those who would prefer it be vegan, feel free to replace the honey with agave, maple syrup, date syrup, brown rice syrup…take your pick!

It was fabulous.  I have three other people to back me up on that (second and third helpings – and screams of excitement from the kids – made it very clear that we have a winner).

What is your favorite rhubarb recipe?