It’s strawberry season! If you have ever gone to the grocery store looking for strawberries and been sorely disappointed with the total lack of flavor the little red berries have given you you clearly didn’t go in the spring. First, stop shopping for strawberries in the fall or winter. Second, stop shopping for them in a grocery store. Wait until spring and go to a farmers’ market. These otherwise relatively expensive little berries are cheap and SO sweet this time of year. The season is short so go now! Buy them, eat them, enjoy them, freeze them for later, OD on them.. whatever you do, eat them now. Strawberries are pretty much perfect this this time of year.
There is a small farmers’ market at Rose Park on P Street on Wednesdays that runs May through October. It’s on my walk home from work and I stopped by this week to see what they had. After resisting the urge to buy an entire herb garden worth of plants (my apartment balcony seriously lacks gardening space) I bought strawberries and rhubarb from one of the stands and walked the rest of the way home with tall rhubarb stalks peaking out of my bag.
I found a recipe for a Rhubarb Crisp published in the New York Times and figured it wouldn’t hurt, and would actually probably greatly enhance, the recipe if I added strawberries!
Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp
adapted from the recipe published in the New York Times on May 14, 2010
6 tbs cold butter, cut into small pieces
2 1/2 lbs of rhubarb, trimmed, tough strings removed and cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces (I had no clue how much rhubarb this was so I just bought 5 stalks. It all depends on what you want your rhubarb to strawberry ratio to be of course)
1 quart of strawberries washed, little leafy heads cut off ,“cored” and halved
1/4 cup white sugar
1 tbs orange zest
1tsp orange juice
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 tsp cinnamon ( I used cardamom and used a lot less…just a sprinkle because I feel like it’s a much more powerful spice than cinnamon)
pinch of salt
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup pecans (I used walnuts, mostly because that’s what I had on had but I also just prefer walnuts if a recipe calls for nuts. Maybe that’s why I had them in the first place!)
Heat your oven to 375 degrees. Grease an 8 or 9 inch baking dish (or whatever you have really. I’m sure you could use a large pie dish if you wanted to) with butter. Toss the rhubarb and strawberries with the white sugar, orange zest and juice and spread into the baking dish.
Put the cut up pieces of butter, brown sugar, flour, cardamom, and salt into a separate bowl. The recipe calls for pulsing all these ingredients in a food processor until the mixture forms pea size balls. I just used my fingers to mix it all together. It was satisfying and worked just as well. Working with your hands gives you an excuse to lick your fingers anyway. Add the oats and walnuts and combine!
As it turns out crisps are not the most attractive dessert. Despite how tart yet sweet it tasted my dessert was not photogenic. Poor thing. Don’t let the pictures deceive you, this stuff was good! The cooked fruit with the crunch of the walnuts and the sweet topping was a great combination. I wonder if it would be good over vanilla ice cream or pound cake. Since I made an entire cake pan worth I guess I’ll have plenty of occasions to try.
Happy strawberry season!
This recipe is dedicated to my awesome aunt in Brooklyn who I failed to mention in my last post. It’s because of her that I have an ice cream machine!