Oak & Acorn: Rhubarb Crumble in Season
It’s that time of year when little green things are starting to come out of the ground, flowers are blooming and the trees have their leaves again. Without the work of planting new seeds, we get lucky to have those few perennials that come back each year. The only things that I have coming back from last spring are a variety of herbs and rhubarb. Rhubarb is a vegetable that is known for its large leaves and tall, thin red stalks but is mostly known for its strong tart flavor. It’s an easy thing to grow with kids and also doesn’t require a lot of maintenance like other vegetables or fruits. Generally people will combine something sweet with the rhubarb to complement it.
When you harvest rhubarb, you should only use the stalk and discard the leaves. Though the leaves of rhubarb look like leafy bitter greens, they aren’t edible like the leaves of other vegetables, such as beet leaves or broccoli leaves. Rhubarb leaves contain high levels of oxalic acid which is poisonous to the body, so never attempt to try cooking with them. If it’s also the first year or two with your rhubarb, it’s best to not harvest all the stalks as this will help with production. It’s good to leave half the stalks or a little less.
A number of my favorite things to make with rhubarb is strawberry-rhubarb jam or a strawberry-rhubarb pie. I usually like to make a few pints of jam each year to have with me into the cold, winter months.
An easy treat to make with rhubarb is a crumble or even a crisp which is very similar; I like to add whip cream or ice cream to this for a sweet treat. Plus, after making it through the winter, it’s nice to enjoy something cool on a warm spring or summer day.
If you don’t have rhubarb growing in your garden already, pick up a rhubarb crown at an upcoming plant sale, or purchase stalks at your local farmers’ market, road side stand, CSA or co-op!
- 1/4 cup of sucanat
- ¼ cup of maple syrup
- 6 cups of chopped rhubarb
- ¼ cup of all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon of vanilla
- For the topping
- 1 cup of flour
- ½ cup of sucanat
- 1/3 cup of oats
- ¼ cut of pecans
- ½ cup of butter, melted
1. Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.
2. Cut 1/2 inch cubes from the stalks of your rhubarb. Combine all the ingredients for your filling and put in a 8×8 baking dish.
3. To making the topping, first melt your butter. It doesn’t have to be completely melted, but softened enough to mix with the dry ingredients. When mixed well, layer it on top of your filling. Bake for about 45 minutes or until topping is golden brown. Enjoy!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Leslie Lynn Lucio
Leslie is from Texas but has always been drawn to New England. She lives in the town of Northampton and loves living in Western Massachusetts. She spends a lot of time with her five year old and connecting with the community. Her interest include cooking, DIY projects,writing, biking, being outdoors, photography, restoration, food preservation and social activism. She spends some of her time farming when she can and also you can spot her working with the Pedal People.
[Photo credits: (c) Leslie Lynn Lucio]