Food On The Hill: Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp

Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp. Photo by Felicia Orth
Food On The Hill

Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp

My favorite of the houses we lived in growing up was an old farmhouse in Eola, ILL., with a rhubarb patch.

Although we kids clamored for sugar when we first started gnawing on the raw stalks, we soon became accustomed to the sour stringiness and enjoyed it straight, in between the strawberry rhubarb pies my mom made all through the season.

When Fermi Lab was built, the ring extended to the edge of the farmhouse property, and we moved to a house that had no rhubarb patch. Rhubarb was still available at the farm stands, of course, and our real consolation at the next house was that we were nearer to fresh sweet corn and abundant asparagus.

Rhubarb is in the stores and at the Farmer’s Market now. Although we’ve enjoyed rhubarb in cakes and as a compote, the rhubarb crisp remains our standard. The classic pairing with strawberries takes us right back to our childhood, standing delighted in a fragrant kitchen, waiting for pies to cool.


2 pounds rhubarb, trimmed, tough strings removed, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 ½ pound strawberries, trimmed and halved
1/3 cup white sugar
2 tablespoons flour
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Zest of one lemon
2 cup rolled oats
1 cup chopped walnuts, pecans, pine nuts or almonds
¼ cup brown or white sugar
½ cup flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
Pinch of salt
8 tablespoons butter, melted


Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Butter a 9 x 13-inch baking dish. Toss rhubarb and strawberries with sugar, flour, lemon juice and zest, and spread in baking dish.

In the same bowl (no need to wash) stir together the oats, sugar, flour, spices, salt and nuts, and pour the melted butter into it, stir well to combine. Spoon the topping over the fruit and bake until golden and bubbling, about 50 minutes. Let rest at least 10 minutes before serving. Serves 8-10 for dessert, more if served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp. Photo by Felicia Orth
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