Sunday, May 2, 2010

The first produce of the season

This year we decided to join a local CSA for produce. We wanted to do it last year, but since I was in Italy all summer it was kind of unrealistic for Aaron to get it all alone every week. Last week, we picked up our first delivery which consisted of a variety of leafy green vegetables as well as radishes, rhubarb, asparagus, honey and a bunch of other delicious vegetables. For most of the things, we had a bunch of great ideas for recipes, but I was sort of at a loss for rhubarb. I pretty much hate rhubarb. My memories of rhubarb consist of my grandma making various rhubarb pie-like dishes, which seemed to me a way to sort of hide the gross, stringy texture of rhubarb.

So, when confronted with rhubarb, knowing that Aaron likes pie (and I don't) I figured this sort of dessert was the best way to go. I consulted Bon Appetit, which has a recipe for Strawberry Rhubarb Crumble this month. I have to say, it was fine, if you like enjoy fruit pie-like desserts (read: crisps, crumbles, etc). I still feel like the recipe was using strawberries to mask rhubarb, but whatever--Aaron ate the whole thing, so I guess it was a success on some level.

The recipe follows, I am certain the crumble could successfully be made with other fruit. The sugar could also be cut significantly, this recipe was very sweet:

Strawberry Rhubarb Crumble
Bon Appetit

3/4 cup flour
2/3 cup plus 1/2 cup sugar
pinch of salt
6 T. butter cut in to 1/2 inch cubes
1/2 cup old fashioned oats
1/2 cup husked hazelnuts, toasted, chopped coarsely
1/2 vanilla bean, split
1 pound strawberries, halved
12 oz. rhubarb, ends trimmed, cut crosswise into 1/2 inch pieces

Combine flour, 2/3 cup sugar, salt in a bowl. Add butter. Mix with fingers until in medium sized chunks. Mix in oats and nuts.

Preheat oven to 375. Butter a ceramic or glass baking dish. Pour 1/2 c. sugar into a large bowl and mix with fruit. Pour the prepared fruit inside the prepared baking dish. Pour the topping on top of the fruit. Bake crumble for about 45 minutes, cool for about 15 minutes.

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