Every Spring when rhubarb starts popping up in the farmers markets, I resolve to do something different with it than combine it with strawberries into a wonderfully delicious dessert. There are even slideshows with unconventional ideas for how to use the tart vegetable (Side note – I just Googled ‘is rhubarb a fruit or vegetable’).
While I always have these great intentions, I usually end up resorting to a traditional strawberry rhubarb crisp, my standby recipe. Nothing quite beats the pairing of sweet strawberries with tart rhubarb, topped with an oat-y crumbly top. I initially got the recipe from the Food & Wine slideshow, but I made some edits to make it a bit healthier by using less sugar and butter (my version is also a smaller quantity than the original recipe). I’ve tried both and I think my version tastes exactly the same. Adaptation below:
1 lb of fresh rhubarb (about 5 stalks) sliced 1/2 inch thick
1 lb fresh strawberries, hulled and quartered
1/2 cup sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 ounces unsalted butter, softened
1 cup light brown sugar
1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup quick cooking rolled oats
3 tablespoons canola oil
1.5 teaspoons cinnamon
3.4 teaspoon salt
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Toss the rhubarb with 1/4 cup sugar and let stand for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. In another bowl, toss the strawberries with the other 1/4 cup of sugar and let stand for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the rhubarb to the strawberries, discarding any leftover rhubarb juice. Add the cornstarch, lemon juice, and vanilla to the fruit and stir well. Transfer the mixture to a 8×8 inch baking dish (I used an oval Le Creuset gratin dish, but a similar size will work).
2. Combine all the topping ingredients in a medium bowl. Using your fingers, mix until large crumbs form.
3. Sprinkle the topping evenly over the filling and bake for about 25 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 325 and bake about 15 minutes more, until the fruit filling is bubbling and the topping is nicely browned. Let rest 10-20 minutes before serving.