Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Rhubarb: instant gratification

I'll never understand how strawberries and rhubarb became a couple. Don't get me wrong, they taste great together. But around here, when the rhubarb stalks are high and haughty we're still getting our strawberries from places far afield. So much for a local foods combo. But spotting quarts of North Carolina strawberries for two dollars (two dollars!) at Frog Pond yesterday, I decided I could countenance the luxury. If only for the sake of knocking down the rhubarb bushes before they take over the entire garden.

Rhubarb is a get-rich-quick scheme, a plant of instant gratification. With rhubarb, there is no settling in for the long haul of harvesting. There's none of the meditation of berry picking, the slow hours spent pinging blueberries into an aluminum bowl. With rhubarb, a few quick hacks and you're out (usually with far more than you need for your recipe) in the space of a few normal blinks.

Strawberry Rhubarb Cobbler with Cornmeal Biscuit Topping from Bon Appetit

For filling:

1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons all purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
2 12-ounce baskets strawberries, hulled, halved
1 1/2 cups 1/2-inch-thick slices fresh or frozen rhubarb

For topping:

1 cup all purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup yellow cornmeal
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
Pinch of salt
3 tablespoons chilled unsalted butter, diced
1/2 cup low-fat buttermilk

For Filling: Preheat oven to 400°F. Mix sugar, flour and cloves in large bowl. Add strawberries and rhubarb and toss to coat with sugar mixture. Transfer filling to 10-inch-diameter glass pie dish.


For Topping: Mix flour, sugar, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda and salt in medium bowl. Add butter and rub in with fingertips until mixture resembles coarse meal. Gradually add buttermilk, tossing with fork until moist clumps form (do not overmix). Spoon topping evenly over filling.

Bake until topping is golden brown and filling is tender, about 25 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.


5 comments:

Eliana said...

WOW - this recipe sounds incredible. I wish I could easily find Rhubarb in NYC. I have a great tart recipe that I want to try but can't find it anywhere. Thanks for stopping by my blog. Can't wait to read more about yours.

madsilence said...

wow, remember all the amazing rhubarb-and-anything-currently-sweet-and-delicious pies they made at IC? I miss rhubarb pies...

Kami said...

Mmmmm, I love rhubarb. I make it like my Grandma did, stew it up with some sugar, a little salt and a sprinkle of lemon juice till it's all...stewy, then slather it over toast. YUM!!! Must go get some rhubarb now.

Kristina said...

Eliana-- I'm surprised rhubarb isn't available in NYC. It grows so readily, I was sure some farmer would have it for sale down there. If you're ever lacking, you're welcome to come take some of mine! :)

Madsilence-- Yes, rhubarb pies, I remember them well...

Kami-- I've been seeing what you're talking about around a lot these days, and everyone's calling it Rhubarb Compote. It sounds delicious.

Sophie said...

Oooh yum! What a tasty dessert, I love the topping! :)

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