IMG_9961.tifOne of my most favorite food editors, Russ Parsons of the LA Times, recently wrote a brilliant piece on falling back in love with the racy tart flavor of spring rhubarb. This edible long- legged wild or hothouse petiole is, no doubt, celebrating this year’s late spring arrival in red four-inch-high heels.

The most enchanting thing about rhubarb is how dramatically it changes. What appears tough and bitter becomes silken and spicy when properly cooked.  It’s a fabulous seasonal co-conspirator with fresh strawberries and a classic favorite, perfect for an outdoor Mother’s Day brunch.

Strawberry-Rhubarb Crisps with Cardamom and Nutmeg

Topping Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup golden brown sugar (packed)
  • 1/3 cup sliced almonds
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 6 tbsps unsalted butter (chilled, cut into 1/2-inch cubes)

Directions: Mix first six ingredients in medium bowl. Add butter, rub in with fingertips until moist clumps form.

Filling Ingredients

  • 5 cups rhubarb (1/2-inch-thick slices fresh, from about 2 pounds)
  • 2 cups strawberries (halved)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup orange juice
  • 2 tbsps all-purpose flour
  • 2 tbsps grated orange peel
  • 1/2 tsp ground cardamom (scant)
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg

Directions: Divide rhubarb mixture among prepared custard cups or a baking dish. Sprinkle topping evenly over mixture. Bake until topping is golden brown and crisp, and the filling is bubbling thickly around edges. About 45 minutes. Serve warm with lightly sweetened whipped cream or ice cream.

Nutritional Information
Each serving includes about 400 calories, with seven grams of protein and six grams of fiber. Rhubarb and strawberries also include vitamins A and C, plus calcium and iron.

*Cardamom has a flavor and fragrance all its own, but if you don’t have cardamom in your spice rack, mix equal amounts of cinnamon and ginger as a substitute.

Ellen Troyer, with Spencer Thornton, MD, and the Biosyntrx staff –

Biosyntrx strongly believes that appreciation, exploration and commitment to science, art, music, and humanities add significantly to the global greater good and are important parts of the intellectual whole.