Strawberry Rhubarb Crumbles
This is hands down one of my favorite desserts of all time. Probably because, like the fava bean salad, I can only make it a few months out of the year. The sweet-tart combination of baked strawberries and rhubarb, topped with a crisp whole wheat walnut crumble and a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream is the stuff summer dreams are made of. Though you can make this recipe in one larger baking dish, I love serving them in individual ramekins. I love the way the bright red fruit bubbles up around the edges when they come out of the oven, and occasionally drips down the sides. (This, by the way is not exclusively a dessert food – topped with Greek yogurt, this makes a heavenly post-dinner party breakfast!)
I grew up loving strawberries – I have a picture of myself at age 4 gorging myself on them at a wedding, and nearly ever May of my life I've been to a strawberry festival (with floats and rides and strawberry shortcake!) in my grandparents' tiny little Kentucky town. But I'd never tasted rhubarb until recent years. Frankly, I was a little turned off by its blood-red celery-ish appearance, and I had no idea what to do with it! Once I tasted it, however, I was hooked. More tart than sweet, rhubarb adds complexity and tang to any dessert. It's actually not a fruit – it's a Vitamin C-laden vegetable that's part of the sorrel family. (Who knew?!) The bright red stalks (tinged with a bit of green) arrive in the market in May and last just a few months–until early July. They are best eaten tossed with a bit of sugar and baked into a pie or tart, or simmered into a compote to serve with an almond cake. But perhaps the easiest – and most delicious – way to eat rhubarb is in these summery little crumbles.
The gorgeous photos in this post were taken by the ever-talented Signe Birck. She has the amazing ability to make ordinary food look so seductive – you can practically taste everything just by looking at it. As you can imagine, as soon as we got all the shots we needed, we had to eat a warm crumble with melted ice cream on the spot. One of the many perks of photographing food!
(Read on for the RECIPE and more...)
FYI: The cutting board featured in these pictures is from my favorite, eco-friendly culinary company Epicurean. They make a wide range of lightweight cutting boards and utensils made from recycled materials. They're all dishwasher safe and, best of all, they're nonporous, so they don't transfer any odors or flavors from different foods. (No more garlic-flavored strawberries! Hooray!) A good investment, indeed.
(Photos by Signe Birck.)[recipe:best-strawberry-rhubarb-crumble-recipe]