Eat the Red

I have an uneasy relationship with the color red.

I wear little of it and use even less as home decor.  It elicits a flight response in me, a quick, turn the page sort of feeling.

Unless it's a bowlful of berries, and then I marvel at its beauty.  Strawberries, raspberries, cranberries, all pleasing to my eye, and I wouldn't turn away from a just-picked apple or a juicy slice of watermelon, either.

Show me a red sweater in a catalog, and I feel my breath quicken.

It's settled, then, I eat red. 

I came across this crumble recipe last week when I was looking for a dessert for the weekend.  I went off in a different dessert direction for guests in the end, but this morning, with strawberries and rhubarb begging to be used, I remembered Heidi's recipe.

Wanting this dish to come around to the breakfast table, I omitted the flavors that said sophisticated dessert, and traded nuts to use what I had.  I like the substitution of hazelnuts; they add a big crunch. 

We've been drinking this strawberry cooler* since having friends for dinner on Sunday.  I left out the basil to make it appealing to all ages, although my friend, J., took some from our salad platter for his glass and said it was great!

Go ahead, eat the red and appreciate its beauty in every bite.

Hazelnut Strawberry Rhubarb Crumble
Adapted from 101 Cookbooks

3/4 cup spelt flour
2/3 cup hazelnuts, toasted and skins rubbed off in a towel
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 Tablespoon cornstarch
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 pound hulled strawberries, quartered or halved, depending on size
12 ounces trimmed rhubarb, sliced into 3/4 inch pieces

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees, with a rack in the middle.  Butter a 10-inch round gratin dish or 9x9 inch square baking dish.

Combine the flour, hazelnuts, oats, sugar, salt together in a bowl.  Use a fork to stir in the butter, squeeze into a few patties, then place in the freezer to chill at least ten minutes.

Make the filling by whisking together the cornstarch and sugar in a large mixing bowl.  Add the strawberries and rhubarb, and toss until evenly coated.  Transfer the filling to the prepared pan, remove the topping from the freezer, and crumble across the top of the filling, making sure you have big and small pieces.

Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until the topping is deeply golden and the fruit juices are vigorously bubbling.  Let cool 30 minutes before serving.
Serves 6-8  

*(I apologize, but I can't find the link to this pretty drink.  When I come across it again, I will update here.)