Rhubarb and strawberries could not be more different from each other. Rhubarb with it's long green and red fibrous stalks looks very different from the plump, heart-shaped strawberries that ooze their sweet red juice. Put them side by side they don't look quite right together but when you pair them in cooking, something magical happens.
One of my good friends recently lent me borrow her copy of the book The Joy of Rhubarb. I know what you are thinking, a book entirely about rhubarb? I have never cooked with this "vegetable" so I thought this was the perfect opportunity to learn. And what better way to discover the wonders of Rhubarb than with a little help with it's close-knit lover the strawberry.
Adapted from The Joy of Rhubarb: The Versatile Summer Delight by Theresa Millang
1-3/4 cup flour
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg, beaten
3/4 cup skim milk
1/3 extra light olive oil (or canola oil)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup rhubarb, finely chopped
1/2 strawberries halved and sliced
grated orange rind
juice of 1/2 an orange
Preheat oven to 400 degrees (Fahrenheit). Prepare rhubarb and strawberries. Add to a separate bowl. Add grated orange rind and the orange juice and let sit.
In another bowl, mix all the dry ingredients. Then add egg, milk, vanilla and oil. Stir in fruit mixture.
Spoon into 12 cupcake liners in a muffin pan.
Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool on a rack for 10-15 minutes.
The rhubarb and strawberries seem bulky in the batter at first but they pratically dissolve into the dough when baking. These muffins are slightly sweet, tart, fragrant and perfect with a nice tall glass of iced tea. Enjoy!