Saturday, June 13, 2009

What's in season: Rhubarb

For my husband, eating rhubarb brings back fond memories of childhood. Since it is in season right now (ie. plentiful and cheap), I've picked it up at the farmer's market the last 3 weeks.

Rhubarb just looks like it should be nutritious and it is: Low in Saturated Fat, Cholesterol and Sodium and High in Dietary Fiber, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Calcium, Potassium, Manganese and Magnesium. One serving of rhubarb has 35% of your calcium.

If your interested in reading more about this tart vegetable, check out Mother Earth News and this article on its history.
"Ben Franklin is credited for bringing rhubarb seeds to the North American east
coast in 1772, yet the red stalks did not catch on until the early 1800s, when
it became a popular ingredient for pie...The term rhubarb has also come to mean
a "quarrel" or "heated discussion." This comes from theatrical direction,
believe it or not. Stage and movie directors would have actors repeat "rhubarb"
and various other phrases over and over to simulate background conversations or
mutterings of a surly crowd."
Look for stalks 12-18" long, thin, crisp (think celery). It should be dark pink to red (generally the redder, the sweeter). One pound of rhubarb equals about 3 cups diced. It's perishable so use it within 3 days or cut it up and freeze.

If your not so sure you're family will like this tart relative of the celery plant for dessert, here is an easy-peasy recipe that is sure to please. I've made this 3 times now and everyone even two picky two-year olds gobbled it up!

Strawberry-Rhubarb Crunch

1 cup white sugar
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3 cups sliced fresh strawberries
3 cups diced rhubarb (I cut it pretty small so the pieces are soft and blend more with the strawberries. For those of you who like the tart you may want to cut them into larger chunks.)
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup butter
1 cup rolled oats

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
In a large bowl, mix white sugar, 3 tablespoons flour, strawberries, and rhubarb. Place the mixture in a 9x13 inch baking dish.
Mix 1 1/2 cups flour, brown sugar, butter, and oats until crumbly. You may want to use a pastry blender for this. Crumble on top of the rhubarb and strawberry mixture.
Bake 45 minutes in the preheated oven, or until crisp and lightly browned.

(Here's a pretty strawberry-rhubarb dessert from Cooking Light with a bit less fat, but I haven't had the chance to try it yet!)

No comments:


Related Posts with Thumbnails