Friday, April 29, 2011

Rhubarb Crisp

Rhubarb is finally back! This delectable dessert comes from the The New York Times, originally published on May 14, 2010. It's quick to make and easily adaptable—I add in sliced almonds instead of pecans and a ½ teaspoon of vanilla.

Rhubarb Crisp
Serves 6 to 8

6 tablespoons cold butter, cut into small pieces, plus more for greasing pan
5 to 6 cups rhubarb, trimmed and cut into 1½-inch pieces, tough strings removed
¼ cup white sugar (can substitute with honey, brown sugar, or agave, but be sure to taste for sweetness)
1 tablespoon orange or lemon juice (optional)
1 teaspoon orange or lemon zest (optional)
¾ cup brown sugar
½ cup all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon cinnamon, or to taste
pinch salt
½ cup rolled oats
½ cup pecans

1. Heat oven to 375 degrees. Grease an 8- or 9-inch square baking or gratin dish with a little butter. Toss rhubarb with white sugar or sugar substitute, orange or lemon juice and zest, and spread in baking dish.

2. Put the 6 tablespoons butter in a food processor along with brown sugar, flour, cinnamon and salt, and pulse for about 20 or 30 seconds, until it looks like small peas and just begins to clump together. Add oats and pecans and pulse just a few times to combine.

3. Crumble the topping over rhubarb and bake until golden and beginning to brown, 45 to 50 minutes.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Simple Spring Asparagus

LFFC asparagus! Photo by CSA shareholder Zach Kassutto.

This recipe comes from Caesar Desiato, one of our CSA site hosts at the Children's Hospital of Pennsylvania. His recipe blog, Otaised's Blog (, is definitely worth checking out over the course of the season—Caesar is committed to providing readers with simple and healthy recipes for seasonal produce. For this recipe, he recommends a bamboo steamer " an essential piece of kitchen equipment... Bamboo steamers of all sizes can be found from Chinatown to for under $10.00. Steaming is quick, versitile, and really healthy."

Simple Spring Asparagus

1 bunch asparagus, 1 inch from the stem removed and steamed for 3 minutes
2 tablespoons of olive oil
½ cup seasoned bread crumbs
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
juice of ½ lemon
salt and pepper to taste

1. Transfer the asparagus to a serving dish. Dress with 1 tablespoon of olive oil, lemon juice, and salt and pepper. Cover and keep warm as you prepare the topping.
2. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a small sauté pan over medium heat. As soon as it’s shimmering, add the bread crumbs and stir to coat. The texture will be like wet sand. Continue to stir and toast until you get a warm caramel color. Take the pan off the heat and toss in the cheese.
3. Spoon the topping over the asparagus and serve immediately.

Optional Additions:

  • Add an anchovy filet to the olive oil before adding the bread crumbs.
  • Forget the Parmesan and go blue!
  • Chop in some fresh herbs; tarragon, chervil and oregano go really well.
  • Make the entire recipe and allow to cool. Thaw out a package of Phyllo dough and follow directions for filling it. Add Feta cheese and fresh dill.