Featured Vegetable – Rhubarb

Rhubarb plant

Rhubarb is plentiful this time of year. The tangy, tart stalks taste good with sugar or fruit usually in a dessert type dish. We like Strawberry Rhubarb Coffee Cake and Rhubarb Upside Down Cake. The Farmer has also started adding a bit here and there to his veggie stirfries. It adds a little tang and softness. And I want to try to make some jam with it this year.

Rhubarb stalks

Just a note – .6 lb. is about 2 cups, which is usually what a recipe calls for. Rhubarb freezes easily. Cut it into 1/2 in. slices, put it in a freezing container, and put in the freezer. Voila! Then you have it to use later in the year. We like the coffee cake as part of our Easter breakfast, so each year I try to make sure I save some frozen rhubarb for that.

Strawberry Rhubarb Coffee Cake

Several years ago we found a recipe called Strawberry Rhubarb Coffee Cake and used it at Easter for our Easter breakfast. The original recipe has a layer of cake, a layer of strawberry rhubarb filling and another layer of cake. Not wanting to take time to make the layers, I mixed it all together. Here is the recipe with that adaptation.

Strawberry Rhubarb Coffeecake

Ingredients

Fruit portion

  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 3 TBSP arrowroot powder OR 1/3 cup cornstarch
  • 2 cups chopped fresh rhubarb or frozen rhubarb .5-.6 lb. is about 2 cups
  • 1 package 10 ounces frozen strawberries (OR fresh; either way, I do slice or quarter these.)
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice

Cake portion

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour OR combination of whole wheat and all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup butter, melted
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup buttermilk OR 1 TBSP vinegar - any kind - added to 1 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Crumb topping, optional

  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted

Instructions

Fruit portion

  • In a saucepan, combine sugar and cornstarch; stir in rhubarb and strawberries as they are, fresh or frozen. Bring to a boil over medium heat; cook for 2 minutes or until thickened. Remove from the heat; stir in lemon juice. Cool.

Cake portion

  • In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder and baking soda. Mix in melted butter. Add eggs, buttermilk and vanilla; stir until moistened. Mix in fruit portion until evenly mixed. Pour into a 13x9 in pan or 2 round cake pans.

Optional topping portion

  • Combine sugar and flour in a small bowl; add melted butter until mixture is crumbly. Sprinkle over batter.
  • Bake at 350° for 45-50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean and cake is golden brown. Cool on a wire rack. Yield: 12-15 servings.

Original recipe