April: Ruby-Red Rhubarb Takes the Stage

One of the first signs of the beginning of the growing season in Ontario is the arrival of fresh, ruby-red rhubarb. For the April Challenge, our participants were invited to create a spectacular dish with this vegetable that is most commonly used as a fruit.

The team at St. James High School has done it again. They created not one, but three recipes using rhubarb, and have been awarded 10 Challenge points for their efforts. Word has it the cheesecake was the biggest hit, and St. James’ students had a blast cooking and eating their work! These pictures have us feeling a bit hungry, but lucky for us, they have also provided the recipes for their creations.

Fresh Ontario rhubarb is still available, so there’s still time to pick up a bunch or two and try out one of these fabulous recipes.
Way to go, St. James!

For the May Challenge: Did you know that 20 per cent of Canadian beef comes from Ontario? For 10 points, share your best beef recipe, and the name of an Ontario beef producer in your area. Bonus: Five extra points if the recipe can be grilled in preparation for those summer barbecues.

Follow the Local Food Challenge on Ontariofresh.ca, and on Twitter @ontariofresh, #LFC2014

- Kelly Hughes, Education and Outreach Specialist

Recipe: Rhubarb Stewed with Apple and Strawberries (pictured above)
Makes 8 servings

Ingredients:
-1 orange
-1 pound of fresh or frozen rhubarb
-1 large apple
-1 cup water
-1/4 cup granulated sugar (approximate)
-2 cups of fresh strawberries (optional)
-1/2 low-fat plain yogurt
-2 tbsp. packed brown sugar

Directions:
Grate rind and squeeze juice from orange. Cut rhubarb into 1-in/2.5cm lengths. Peel, core and thinly slice apple. In a saucepan, combine orange and rind and juice, rhubarb, apple, water and sugar; cover and bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes or until fruit is tender, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and stir in strawberries. Add more sugar to taste. Serve warm or at room temperature. Top each serving with a spoonful of yogurt and sprinkle with brown sugar.

Recipe: No-Bake Local Rhubarb Cheesecake

Ingredients:
-1 stock of rhubarb (diced small) reserve leafs for garnish
-1 half of an apple (diced small)
-6 minced strawberries
-1 tbsp. honey
-3/4 cup of water
-1/3 cup of graham crumbs
-1 ½ tbsp. of cold butter
-1 1/4 cup fine sugar
-1/2 pound cream cheese
-1 tbsp. sour cream
-1/4 cup icing sugar
-1 tsp. vanilla
-3/4 cup of whipping cream
-1 tbsp. dark chocolate

Directions:
1. In a medium saucepan, add rhubarb, apple, strawberries, honey, water, and 1 cup of sugar. While on medium heat, reduce until thick, while whisking often so the bottom doesn’t burn.
2. In a food processor, add whipping cream, icing sugar and vanilla until it peaks. Add cream cheese and sour cream and mix until smooth. Put in a bowl and refrigerate. 
3. Clean out the food processor and put in graham crackers, 1 tbsp. of butter, and 1 tsp. of fine sugar.
4. In a double boiler, mix chocolate and remaining butter until smooth.
5. Use either a small mason jar or a wine glass to assemble the layers in:

  • graham crumbs (packed down)
  • 3 tbsp. of cream
  • half of the dark chocolate
  • 3 tbsp. of cream
  • 2 tbsp. of rhubarb compote
  • garnish with graham crumbs, and rhubarb leaves

Recipe: Rhubarb Apple Crisp


 

Filling:
-2/3 cup granulated sugar
-2 tbsp. all-purpose flour
-1 tsp. grated lemon-rind
-3 cups fresh or frozen rhubarb pieces (cut into ½ inch cubes)
-3 cups of sliced apples

Topping:
-1/3 cup packed brown sugar
-1/3 cup rolled oats
-3 tbsp. whole wheat flour
-1 tsp. cinnamon
-2 tbsp. soft margarine, melted

Directions:
1. Filling: In a bowl, combine sugar, flour, and lemon rind; mix well. Add rhubarb and apple; stir to mix. Spoon into 8- cup (2L) baking dish.
2. Topping: In bowl, combine sugar, rolled oats, flour, and cinnamon. Add melted margarine and stir to mix; sprinkle over filling.
3. Bake in 375 degree oven for 40 to 50 minutes, until filling is bubbly and topping is brown. Serve warm or at room temperature.