Strawberry-Rhubarb Pie Parfait (it's National Strawberry-Rhubarb Pie Day!)

The weather gets warmer. The sun shines brighter. And I start to think to myself, “It’s almost time for rhubarb.” I start to keep a lookout in the grocery, my eyes sharp with anticipation. I eagerly frequent farmer’s markets. And then one day, sitting in what must surely be a spotlight from heaven, there it is – those long, pink-red stalks. I think I hear a chorus of angels in the background as I select a sampling to bring home with me. I’ve got it! It feels like I’ve won the lottery. Finally, after months and months of rhubarb withdrawal, I have it, in my hands, the possibilities for using it endless.

I honestly don’t even think I love rhubarb. Sure, I like it, but it’s not my favorite. Yet, I can’t help but get giddy when it comes around, simply because it doesn’t happen all the time. As much as I love bananas and apples, they aren’t special. I know people who hoard rhubarb. No one hoards bananas.

I wish more fresh produce were like rhubarb. I wish we could only buy strawberries when they were in season, bright red in the center and juicy instead of stark white and mealy in texture. There are certain things I’m grateful to have – I don’t know what my day would be like without a banana in it, and I love exotic fruits like kiwi and pineapple. We’re very lucky. But I do try to only buy frozen berries unless they’re in season, frozen corn until the husks at the markets are truly at their best. But it’s challenging when we aren’t forced into that sort of seasonal shopping, as we are with rhubarb. It’s a challenge I’d like to take head on in the near future, because I love the exhilaration I get when I spot that first rhubarb stalk of the year. Yes, I said it – exhilaration. If only we could all be so lucky to get so thrilled over our produce bin, right?

This rhubarb spread is a fantastic recipe to make with the rhubarb that’s still peeking out from the corner of the local farmer’s markets. The only thing I changed was to substitute ½ teaspoon vanilla extract for the rosewater, as I didn’t have any and read online that it was an acceptable swap. It’s easy, makes a ton, and is versatile so you don’t have to feel tied down to any one rhubarb dish. Mix it into yogurt – lemon, plain, or strawberry would all be wonderful – spread it on a warm scone or muffin for an afternoon treat, turn it into a milkshake or ice cream sundae.  I stirred it into yogurt (Chocolate Chunk Chobani Champions – say that 3 times fast! – was one of my favorites), spread it on fresh baked challah bread, and dolloped it over a lemon chia pudding. The recipe I have below is for a Strawberry Rhubarb Pie Parfait, my personal favorite way that I incorporated the spread. I was sad to see it go yesterday, and think that next year I, too, may need to learn how to properly hoard store rhubarb in my freezer to get even more uses out of it.


Strawberry Rhubarb Pie Parfait
This easy dish blends strawberry yogurt and a fresh rhubarb compote with a quick yet healthy oat streusel. It’s not quite as indulgent as a slab of pie, but once you taste it I don’t think you’ll care.

Yield: 2 servings
Prep Time: 2 minutes
Cook Time: 3 minutes

The Ingredients
2 tablespoons egg whites
¼ cup oats
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 packet stevia
2 tablespoons sliced almonds
12 ounces strawberry Chobani yogurt
¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons rhubarb spread
2 fresh strawberries, for garnish

The Method
Stir together the egg whites, oats, cinnamon, vanilla, stevia, and almonds in a small bowl. Heat a lightly greased pan over medium to medium-low and add the oat mixture. Pat down and let the one side cook like a streusel-y pancake. After 1-2 minutes, break up the oat mixture and flip to let the other side cook. Be careful not to burn the almonds, as these will cook more quickly then the rest of it.

While the oat mixture is finishing, place 6 ounces of the yogurt in each of two serving dishes. Divide the streusel evenly between the two, reserving a little bit for the garnish. Add 3 tablespoons of the rhubarb spread on top of each dish and garnish with a strawberry and any extra streusel.

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