You know it’s officially spring when the farmers market is bursting with beautiful stalks of tart, fibrous, green and pink rhubarb! I love the stuff. It epitomizes the season.
This recipe is so easy and takes minimal time and effort. I’ve replaced the strawberries with other berries and really, anything goes with these beauts. The rhubarb compote is also delicious on yogurt or mixed into a vinaigrette, to bring out some sweet/tart notes.
But once you spread that compote on the oat mixture and bake these strawberry rhubarb oat bars, everything just melds together into a gooey, crispy, delicious treat. These bars make an especially convenient springtime breakfast when running out the door. They also make a delicious impromptu dessert, especially when warmed up and topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. I’m drooling.
So when you see beautiful stalks of rhubarb at the market this weekend, don’t keep on walking. Stop, talk to your friendly vendor, buy some rhubarb and get baking. And let me know what you think!
Strawberry Rhubarb Oat Bars
Makes 24 bars in a 9 x 13 pan
For Oat Mixture
2½ cups old-fashioned rolled oats
2 cups whole wheat flour or all-purpose flour
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
2 stick unsalted butter, melted
1 tbsp vanilla
For Strawberry Rhubarb Compote
5 cups rhubarb (around 5-6 stalks)
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
1 1/2 cup farmers market strawberries (reserve 1/2 for topping)
Preheat oven to 350.
Chop rhubarb into 1/2 inch chunks. Add to a large stock pot with sugar and water. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer, until the preserve is thick but some pieces of the rhubarb remain intact. Add halved strawberries at the end, stirring lightly not to break. Turn off heat.
Add oats, flour, baking soda, salt in a bowl and whisk well. Add brown sugar, eggs, vanilla, melted butter and stir until dough forms.
Butter bottom and sides of pan. Layer 2/3 of the oat mixture and press into the bottom of the pan. Add strawberry rhubarb preserves and spread evenly. Sprinkle with the other 1/3 of oat mixture, and dot with 1/2 cup of strawberries. Press down slightly into the preserves.
Bake 25-30 minutes until golden brown. Let bars cool in the pan before cutting (or they’ll fall apart). Yum.