The transition from late spring to early summer brings new seasonal crops to farmers market. Among my favorites are the ravishing shoots of rosy red rhubarb that first appear in late May and are available through much of June. The celery-like stalks range in color from crimson, to speckled pink and green, to green depending on the variety. Though all varieties taste the same when cooked, I prefer the visual appeal of red rhubarb in my recipes.
This curious perennial is technically classified as a vegetable, but is widely used as a fruit in culinary circles. It’s too tart to eat raw, but beautifully enhances the flavor of fruits like strawberries and raspberries when baked into pie or cooked in jam. It is also delicious roasted or stewed with sugar to use as a compote over vanilla ice cream.
When choosing rhubarb look for firm, crisp stalks that are free of cracks or blemishes. If not using immediately you can store the stalks, unwashed, in an air tight container in the refrigerator for five to seven days. It is important to note that while the rhubarb stalk is completely edible, the leaves of this plant are toxic and should be discarded.
This simple dessert recipe for Rhubarb-Raspberry Crisp with Rosemary comes from fellow blogger Gerry Speirs at FoodnessGracious.com and is a personal favorite of mine. The savory hint of fresh rosemary is an unexpected compliment that takes this dessert up a notch. Serve it warm with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream and enjoy the seasonal rhubarb harvest.
RHUBARB AND RASPBERRY CRISP WITH ROSEMARY (serves 6)
*Original recipe from FoodnessGracious.com
PREP TIME: 15 mins COOK TIME: 35 mins TOTAL TIME: 50 mins
Printable recipe: RHUBARB AND RASPBERRY CRISP WITH ROSEMARY
- 1 lb. rhubarb (about 3-4 large stalks) washed and chopped into 1-2 inch chunks
- 6 ounces raspberries
- ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 tablespoon organic cornstarch
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- 3 tablespoons cold unsalted butter plus extra for greasing the baking pan
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ⅓ cup rolled oats
- 3 tablespoon brown sugar
- 2 whole sprigs fresh rosemary, snipped from the sprig and coarsely chopped
- In a large bowl combine the chopped rhubarb, raspberries, sugar and cornstarch.
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Butter a 9” baking dish or pie pan and set aside.
- Toss gently making sure the fruit is well coated in the mixture.
4. Let sit while you make the topping.
5. In another smaller bowl, combine the flour, butter, cinnamon, oats and brown sugar.
6. Rub the mixture with your fingers until it is crumbly. Set aside.
7. Mix the fruit mixture gently a second time.*The juices should have released.
8. Place the fruit mixture into the prepared pan and spread out until even.
9. Add the rosemary to the topping mixture and toss. Sprinkle the topping over the fruit.
11. Let cool for five minutes and serve with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.