I spent my afternoon cutting up beautiful, tangy, glorious rhubarb. If you’ve never ate rhubarb, you are missing out. When you remove the leaves, it looks like celery that has gone bad. But bake properly, it is very, very, VERY good.
I’m a relatively new disciple of this vegetable (yes, it is actually a vegetable, but most cookbooks include it in the fruit section.) I mean, who wants to put something that looks like celery in a dessert crisp? But then Outdoor Guy asked me to bake him something with rhubarb as a summer treat early in our marriage. One bite and I quickly converted.
My mom has a single rhubarb plant in her backyard. Every year, I swear I’m going to cut some off to bake with, and every year I forgot and had to resort to tracking down rhubarb in a local farmer’s market. But I remembered this year, and Outdoor Guy is excited to reap the benefits. I am too. Just looking at this pile of crisp, tart deliciousness is enough to make my mouth water.
It’s versatile. Rhubarb works great for cobblers, crisps, pies, tarts, muffins and jams. And it can grow just about everywhere in the country with pretty minimal effort. Now that’s my kind of vegetable.
A word to the wise, however. Rhubarb is an ancient plant traced back to China in 2700 BC. It was used for medical purposes as a laxative, to reduce fever and cleanse the body. Eat a little too much of this stuff and you’ll believe the Chinese know what they are doing when it comes to medicine.
My favorite rhubarb recipe by far is called Easy Rhubarb Dessert. It’s part cake, part cobbler and 100 percent yum. In no way, shape or form is it healthy, but if you want to splurge on an amazingly decadent dessert, this is it!
Easy Rhubarb Dessert
1 yellow cake mix
5 cups fresh or frozen rhubarb, chopped into 1/2 inch pieces (can also use a combination of rhubarb and strawberries, I’ve done it both ways.)
1 cup sugar
1 cup cream
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare the cake mix according to the directions. Pour the prepared batter into a greased 9×13 inch baking pan.
2. Spread the rhubarb over the cake mix in a single layer.
3. Sprinkle the sugar over the rhubarb.
4. Pour 1 cup cream over the rhubarb.
5. Bake for 40-45 minutes, or until top is golden and the cake part is baked thoroughly.
I like to serve this with fresh whipped cream or a small scoop of vanilla ice cream. Because you know, there aren’t nearly enough calories in this thing yet.