Monday, June 24, 2013

Summer Abundance: Rhubarb

Summer is one of my favorite least early summer is. I'm not sure that early summer is considered a season, though. The breeze is warm, not stifling. Grass is rich and green. Growth in the garden is just beginning, and there's a wonderful smell in the air. 

We just happen to be the grateful beneficiaries of our friends summer (over) abundance. We haven't been able to plant our garden this year, but we've been blessed with cucumbers, tomatoes, kale, and rhubarb from other's zucchini yet, but I'm sure it will come! {Insert smily face here}

I was experimenting with rhubarb combinations the other day, and while strawberry with rhubarb is still my favorite, apple and rhubarb pair nicely, too. The texture of the fruit, the sweetness of the apple balancing out the tartness of the's a perfect match. 

I made a rhubarb betty....that wasn't a big hit. My next try was crisp. Mmmmm. We all agreed that it's a keeper. 

3 cups rhubarb, washed well and sliced into chunks
1 cup apple (of choice), peeled and diced
1/2 cup strawberries, washed and sliced
3/4 cup sugar (or cane juice crystals)
1 Tb. flour
2 tsp. instant tapioca
1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
pinch salt

Streusel Topping:
1 scant cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup margarine

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a medium bowl, combine prepared fruit with sugar, flour, instant tapioca, lemon juice and salt. Stir to combine and set aside.

In another bowl, combine dry streusel ingredients, then add margarine. Using a fork (or your fingers), crumble and cut the margarine into the flour mixture until it resembles large peas. 

Pour fruit mixture into a lightly oiled or Pam-sprayed 8 x 8 baking dish. Sprinkle streusel topping evenly over the fruit. Place in stove and bake for approximately 40-45 minutes or until topping is beautifully golden and fruit is tender. 

Juices will be bubbling in the baking dish, and you may want to have a cookie sheet under it...just in case! :-)

Serve warm with non-dairy vanilla ice cream, whipped topping, or enjoy it plain.