Saturday, May 22, 2010

Rhubarb Season

Rhubarb season is here, and this year I greeted it with a new recipe from 101 Cookbooks. Heidi Swanson's Strawberry Rhubarb Crumble isn't revolutionary, nor is it exciting. But man, is it good.

A big fan of multigrain flours, Swanson calls for spelt flour in this recipe, which, according to a new book I've been leafing through called Good to the Grain, is a good introduction to whole grain flours, since it is easy to bake with, and gives satisfying results. Spelt has a slightly tart aroma, and is also distinctly sweet--making it a great match for the classic sweet-tart combination of strawberries and rhubarb.

The crumble topping also includes oats, lightly toasted pine nuts, natural cane sugar, butter, sea salt, and freshly ground black pepper. You can add a splash of port wine to the fruit, if you have it, but I didn't, and it didn't seem to make this any less tasty. In fact, we ate the crumble at a picnic, along with a Sangiovese wine, and I will say it was one of the most enjoyable dessert experiences I have had in awhile. Watching the sailboats on the Hudson, sipping a delicious red wine, listening to our baby coo on the blanket alongside us, eating a strawberry rhubarb crumble: not a bad way to spend a Saturday afternoon.--S

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