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Rhubarb-Fennel Pollen Bars for Nicholas



One of my best friends - who is about to have a baby, as in any minute now - posted a recipe for me: Smitten Kitchen's Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp Bars. Her note - "these made me think of you minus the strawberry."

Despite most people pairing rhubarb with strawberry, I prefer my rhubarb plain. I jokingly told her that she needed to say, "Cam, Nicholas is craving these!" Then I'd whip up a batch for her.

When I was at Whole Foods yesterday, there were five lonely stalks of rhubarb. They called my name. It was a sign. For the record, no, produce doesn't really talk to me...I'm not that crazy.

But I scooped up all of the rhubarb and made these for Jenn and her unborn baby. And because I can't follow a recipe to save my life, these are inspired by Smitten Kitchen's recipe...with lots of adaptations. Can't wait to see if he's a rhubarb lover in a couple of years.

Ingredients

  • 2 C rolled oats
  • 1 C flour (I used a white whole wheat flour) + 2 T flour (I used a quinoa flour because I was out of wheat)
  • 1 C light brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 1 T organic granulated sugar
  • 1/4 t baking soda
  • 1/4 t fleur de sel
  • pinch of fennel pollen
  • 12 T butter, melted + 1 T butter, softened
  • 3 C rhubarb, trimmed and sliced
  • zest from 1 lemon
  • juice from 1 lemon
  • 2 T ground almonds
  • powdered sugar for garnish

Procedure
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Place the oats, 1 C flour, light brown sugar, baking soda, salt, and fennel pollen in a 9" x 13" baking dish.


Melt the butter and pour it into the baking dish. Use a fork to blend it together until clumps form. Press the base lightly into the pan.

In a large mixing bowl, stir together the rhubarb, 1 T softened butter, 1 T granulated sugar, 2 T quinoa flour, lemon zest, and lemon juice.


Spoon the rhubarb mixture over your crust. Sprinkle the ground almonds over the top. Bake for 35-40 minutes until the rhubarb is softened and the sauce bubbling around the edges.


Cool completely. Slice into squares. Sprinkle with powdered sugar before serving.

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