On the gray morning that I was to leave Kirkland, Washington last summer, I crept quietly out of my sister's house with an unfamiliar butcher knife in hand and chopped about fifty stalks of a red, celery-like plant so that I could cram way too much of it in my suitcase and have an endless supply of it in Memphis.
Yes, I am obsessed with rhubarb, the tart, citrus-y, now-in-season treat that I plan to bake and bake until I can't even bear to look it again.
My sister, she of the entire front-and-side-yard vegetable garden, shrugged the night before when I asked if I could liberate some of it. "Sure, take as much as you want," she said. "I like it, but there's no possible way for me to figure out how to use all of that." As I close my eyes and picture this crazy plant, I remember it being about three feet wide, almost like a bush or even a trunkless tree. Finally, I have planted rhubarb in my own garden this year, and I am desperate for it to start growing. For now, I am mixing it up with strawberries in this crumble.
1 quart strawberries, large dice (I used the amazing ones I got from Jones Farm this week.)
2 stalks rhubarb, large dice
1 tbsp. cornstarch, sifted
1/4 c raw sugar
juice from one lemon
3/4 c oatmeal
2 tbsp. brown sugar
2 tbsp. raw sugar
2 tbsp. AP flour
2 tbsp. whole wheat flour
1/3 c olive oil margarine, diced (The Earth Balance kind is great.)
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. salt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix all the fruit ingredients and set aside to macerate. Stir together all the dry ingredients along with the small chunks of olive oil margarine. Place fruit mixture into a baking pan or small shallow dishes, either of which should be brushed with a little olive oil or margarine. Spoon on the crumble topping to cover. Top with pinches of salt and a generous drizzle of olive oil. Bake for about 30-40 minutes until mixture is bubbling and crumble topping is golden brown. Let cool and top with vanilla ice cream or honey-sweetened Greek yogurt.