Sunday, August 9, 2009

Rhubarb Crisp

My Venture into Eating Vegetables for Dessert

The rhubarb industry needs to hire a better public relations firm. For whatever reason, rhubarb has gotten the shaft – no pun intended. It needs to stop hanging out with prunes and brussel sprouts and start hanging out with trendy vegetables like jicama and white asparagus (not that I'm prejudiced against green).

Most people who claim to hate rhubarb have never, in fact, ever tried it. A few years ago, I brought a rhubarb dessert into the office and people devoured it. While scrambling for seconds, many of my coworkers exclaimed "THIS is rhubarb?!" This dessert is wonderfully tart and refreshing to eat. My taste buds absolutely dance when I eat it. When I developed this recipe, I considered swapping out half of the rhubarb for strawberries – which is commonly done in many rhubarb desserts. Then I thought, "It's time that rhubarb stop being relegated to the back of the bus and being paired with trendy berries in order to be accepted." Rhubarb lovers unite!!! This dessert is for you! It's unapologetically tart. Let's stop being ashamed to eat this wonderful vegetable and proclaim our love for this second-class citizen of the plant world. Make this dessert, step out of the culinary closet, and proudly eat it in front of your friends and family members. Leave the closet for the health nuts who say they only eat healthy foods while secretly wolfing down drumsticks from KFC.

If you've never had rhubarb, here is your chance to introduce your taste buds to a new friend. You won't regret it. Enjoy – and happy puckering!

P.S. This is going to be a busy week for postings so be sure to check the blog everyday!

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Rhubarb Crisp
(Printable Version)

5 cups rhubarb, cut into a small dice
1-3 oz box of strawberry jello
1 cup plus 2 TBSP sugar for a tart crisp (increase to 1 1/4 cups sugar for a less-tart crisp)
3 TBSP cornstarch

1 1/2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1/2 tsp salt
12 TBSP butter (1 1/2 sticks), cut into small cubes

Preheat oven to 350F.

In a large bowl, combine the filling ingredients and stir to combine. Pour the rhubarb mixture into an 8x8" glass dish. Use the back of a spoon to make sure the rhubarb is well packed and even on top.

In another bowl, combine the topping ingredients. Using your hands or a pastry blender, cut the butter into the flour mixture until it is very well combined. All of the flour should be moisten with the butter when finished. Grab a handful of the topping and squeeze it in your hand. Gently break of small chunks of the topping all over the rhubarb. Repeat with the remaining topping. Bake for 60 to 70 minutes or until the top is golden brown and the rhubarb is bubbly. Cool to room temperature before eating.


  1. Vince, You are really productive. I love your receipes. I need to try each one of them when I have more time. Do you have any easy receipes for a busy mom?


  2. Jian -- That's a good suggestion. I will try to add additional recipes that are quick and easy to fix. You can never have enough quick-fix recipes!

  3. Hmm I should go and pluck all the remaining rhubarb from my garden and EAT IT! I am guilty though of pairing it up with something more exciting on a regular basis!
    Looks yummy!

  4. I hate to admit it but I've paired my beloved rhubarb with some of those trendy fruits before in the past. Shhh. Keep it a secret. I don't want people to think I'm a hypocrite. :-)


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