Every spring I marvel at my rhubarb plant as it pokes through the last of the snow. It is the first sign of spring and for that reason alone I adore this vegetable that we treat like a fruit. Its tartness just begs for sugar. In fact, I sometimes dip those first tender stalks in sugar and eat it raw.
Those less dedicated to eating rhubarb in its pure form will love it baked together with strawberries and a sweet, crumbly, streusel topping. I love this crisp with a scoop of vanilla ice cream for dessert, but even more for breakfast the next morning.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- In a large bowl, toss together the strawberries, rhubarb, sugar, cornstarch, zest, and ginger. Place the mixture in a shallow 8-cup baking dish. Loosely cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes.
- While the fruit mixture is baking, make the crisp topping. In a medium-sized bowl, mix together the flour, brown sugar, oats, salt, cinnamon, ginger and butter, until the butter is distributed evenly.
- After the fruit has baked for 30 minutes, remove the foil and cover with the crisp topping. Return to the oven and bake, uncovered, for an additional 30 minutes.
- Serve at any temperature with ice cream as dessert or even a dollop of yogurt as breakfast.
Zoë François, author of Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day and Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day , studied at the Culinary Institute of America in New York. She now calls Minneapolis her home, where she has worked with some of the top talent in the culinary world — Steven Brown, Andrew Zimmern and many chefs at the D’Amico company. In addition to writing, Zoë teaches baking classes and consults at restaurants, and she maintains her baking blog, zoebakes.com . Her third book, Artisan Pizza and Flatbreads in Five Minutes a Day, comes out in October .