Sense of Home Kitchen
It is the time of year for all things strawberry and rhubarb. Our strawberries are blooming, but not producing yet, so I used the strawberries I froze last summer, they needed to be used before freezer burn set in, and our rhubarb is producing like crazy, thus this recipe was born. In fact, I have so much rhubarb from my plants and my mother's plants that I will be making rhubarb juice to can soon. First though I have to get my garden planted. I have all the seeds and plants I need so hopefully I will be placing them in the soil tomorrow afternoon, the weather sounds like it will cooperate anyway.
This afternoon we went foraging for asparagus. We found enough for tonight's dinner (grilled), but in a week or two there should be enough for preserving. This year I plan to make and can or freeze asparagus soup, we prefer that to frozen asparagus. I will, of course, not make the custards until we are ready to eat the soup next winter, or we will just splash a little cream into the soup or shave some Parmesan cheese on top of the soup for a quick meal. I also learned from a friend that the tougher ends of asparagus that we have been tossing into the compost pile can be saved and used when making stock, now why didn't I think of that? So I saved those ends and put them in the "stock bag" that I have in my freezer, which holds mushroom stems, celery tops, onion ends, bits of carrot, etc., and now asparagus ends. When I am ready to make stock I have all the vegetables I need, and by the looks of the amount of vegetables I have saved it is time to make stock.
Strawberry Rhubarb Bars
~Sense of Home Kitchen, adapted from a rhubarb bar recipe printed in the Star Tribune in 2009~
Serves 12 to 15
2 cups chopped fresh rhubarb (1/2-inch pieces)
1 generous cup quartered large strawberries (halved, if small)
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons water
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cup regular oatmeal, uncooked
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
Preheat oven to 350° F. Lightly butter a 9- x 13-inch baking dish.
In a medium-sized saucepan, heat the rhubarb, strawberries, lemon juice, water and sugar on medium-high bringing it to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until the rhubarb is tender and the mixture thickens to the consistency of thin jam, about 10 minutes.
In a medium-sized bowl mix together the brown sugar, flour, oatmeal, salt and cinnamon. Then work in the softened butter with your fingers to make a crumbly dough. Mix in walnuts. Pat half of the dough into the prepared pan.
Spread the strawberry and rhubarb mixture onto the crust, then top with the remaining crumbles. Bake about 30 to 35 minutes until golden brown. Cool to room temperature.
Serve plain or with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
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