Vegetable Pancakes

Stella was insistent that I get my recipe for vegetable pancakes on the blog right away so she could make them at home with Hayley!  Such a quick, easy and delicious way to have a meal on the table in minutes, these are great for lunch, dinner or snacking.  I usually make a pile and they warm up quickly in the toaster oven.  They are a bit of a mash up of Korean pajeon, Japanese Okonomiyaki and Chinese scallion pancakes (even a bit like my zucchini fritters!)

I will get a better photo, but Stella didn’t want me to wait, she loved them so much!

1/2 cup all purpose flour

1/2 cup potato starch or cornstarch

½ tsp baking powder

1 tsp sea salt

1 egg

3/4 cup very cold water

4 cups very thinly sliced or julienned vegetables

oil for frying

Whisk dry ingredients together, then stir in egg and water. Add in all your vegetables and stir just to combine.

Preheat oven to 300 to keep the pancakes warm as you cook them.

Heat oil in frying pan, and drop in 1/4 cup amounts, flattening them out slightly. Cook for 3-5 minutes on each side until golden brown and crispy. You will have to do this in batches, so keep them warm in a 300 oven until you have them all fried. Don’t crowd the pan or they will steam rather than fry.

I first tried this recipe as Korean pancakes, adding some chopped kimchi as well as a bit of the juice, but ended up using it for many different vegetables.

Serve with dipping sauce:

1/4 cup soya sauce

1 tbsp vinegar

1/2 tsp sesame oil (I like toasted)

1/2 tsp sugar

1/2 tsp hot sauce (such as sriracha)

Stir together and set aside for service. Taste and adjust for your personal preference.

Use whatever vegetables you have in your fridge! It really is a fridge clean out in the best possible way.
Make sure you don’t crowd the pan – it takes very little oil.
Flip when nice and crispy, and a golden brown.
These ones had fresh shrimp and lots of chives.

Quick Focaccia

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There is something about making breads that just feels like a win.  Focaccia always does that!  The very best focaccia recipes allow for the dough to rest anywhere from hours to days.  If you are like me, some days you are driving home from work thinking focaccia would really boost dinner TODAY.  Not 3 days from now.  This recipe is for those days.   If you’ve got a little over an hour, you’ve got enough time to pull this off – and trust me, it’s easy.  No intensive kneading or stand mixer necessary!

  • 2 Tbso olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp fresh herbs – I used basil, parsley, rosemary, oregano and thyme. minced

Mix well and if it looks a little herb heavy, add a bit more olive oil. Set aside.

  • 3/4 cup warm water (the perfect temperature for blooming yeast is between 105-115)
  • 2 1/4 tsp dry active yeast (1 pack)
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil

Top with flaky sea salt and more fresh rosemary.

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Proof yeast and sugar in 3/4 cup warm water – 105-115 degrees F until foamy and active.
  • In a bowl, combine flour, salt.
  • Add in yeast mixture & olive oil, and mix to get it all together.  You may need to add a couple tablespoons more warm water.  You want this to be slightly sticky.
  • Cover and allow dough to rise for around 30 minutes.  The time isn’t as important as that you need to let the dough to pretty much double in size.
  • Add 1 -2 tbsp  olive oil into small baking vessel – either  9 x 7 inch sheet pan, or this also works well in an 8 x 8 square baking pan. You want a fair bit of oil here, rub it all around the sides of the pan as well.
  • Add dough and stretch to fit pan, if dough springs back, let it sit, covered, for 5 minutes and try again.  The rest helps the gluten to relax.
  • Once dough has been stretched enough to fit the baking sheet, allow to rest (covered) for 30 minutes.  Honestly, do whatever time you have – I find this to be fairly forgiving.
  • Dampen your fingers and dimple the dough like you are playing a piano.
  • Drizzle herbed olive oil over dimpled dough and allow it to fill in the dimples, I like to be generous with the herb oil mixture.
  • Sprinkle on some flaky sea salt and more fresh rosemary that isn’t all minced up.
  • Bake for 15 – 20 minutes or until golden brown.
  • Once out of the oven, allow to rest on a cooling rack to keep the bottom crusty as well.

So many ways you can serve this;

  • Use it as an appetizer with a charcuterie board
  • Fresh out of the oven with simple oil and vinegar
  • Try it with your best olive oil and my dukka recipe, (If you’ve never tried dukka you are in for a treat!)
  • Completes a soup or salad meal
It’s October and this is what my herb garden still looks like!
Ready to go, and this herby oil smells so fresh – today I added in some roasted garlic.
Ready for the oven – love the way those little dimples fill up, I think those pockets of oil help crisp up the top.
You just know how good your house smells – it’s ready to dunk in your soup.

Aloo Garlic Stuffed Naan

The best naan I’ve made …. to date anyway!

I can’t pretend to be humble when it comes to my cooking, but these naan impressed me more than I usually impress myself! The dough is very pillowy soft and tender, they were so delicious I pulled six out of the oven and they were inhaled.

This is the kind of thing you do when you have a little time on your hands, not necessarily because they are so much work, but it is important to give the dough time to rise and develop that light texture you want in a naan.

NAAN

  • 1 tsp dry active yeast
  • 2 tsp sugar (separated)
  • 3/4 cup lukewarm water (around 100* )
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp fine sea salt
  • 1/8 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp dry herbs
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 tbsp plain yogurt

In a large glass, dissolve 1 tsp sugar in the warm water and sprinkle in the yeast. Let sit for 10 minutes until it is foamy.

In a large bowl stir together the flour, salt, remaining 1 tsp sugar, baking powder, garlic powder and herbs.

Once yeast is nice and foamy stir in the olive oil and yogurt. Mix well and then stir into flour mixture with a fork. Using your hand, mix and knead in the bowl just until everything is incorporated. As soon as it is together, soft, and slightly sticky, cover it all and let it rest until doubled in size. This could be anywhere from 2-4 hours depending on how warm your kitchen is.

FILLING

  • 1 cup cooked & chopped up potato (could be leftover mashed potatoes too!)
  • Saute 1/2 -1 cup of minced onions in ghee, until nice and soft (amount of onion depends on your love of onions!)
  • Remove from heat and stir in one crushed garlic clove and 1/2 tsp dried coriander.
  • Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • Set aside until cooled down.

(Ghee is clarified butter and most grocery stores carry it now, but you could easily substitute olive oil or butter)

Once the dough has doubled, gently punch it down and divide into 6, rolling those into balls.

Flatten each ball with your hands until they are 6-7 inches across. Divide the potato stuffing amongst the flattened dough pieces, and then gather the outer edges like you are forming a little pocket or purse.. Once you have completely encased the potato mixture press down gently until flattened and once again about 6-7 inches across.

Brush the tops with beaten egg, sprinkle with a little salt & pepper, chili flakes and sesame seeds.

Bake at 400 until golden brown – about 20 minutes.

Remove from oven and rub with a little melted butter and sprinkle with minced cilantro.

Ready to flatten, you can see the bits of herb and they already smell great.
This dough was the easiest naan dough I have ever worked with – so tender and easy to flatten.
Once you have them all stuffed and flattened back out, sprinkle with beaten egg and toppings. Confession time? Somehow I got on a roll and before I knew it I had brushed the tops with melted ghee, not the egg wash I had planned on. Hmm. Still turned out so do whatever floats your boat.
Using your finger tips, flatten around the outer edge to create a bit of a border. Some of them puffed right up like a pita, and others didn’t, and either way they were delicious!
Ready for the oven
Soft potato and onion filling made these the best ever!
Next time I’m going to leave out the garlic, and try using a different stuffing …. ham and cheese maybe? They’d be great for lunches.

This naan dough originally came from an Indian Cookbook I have – Aarti Sequeira “Aarti Paarti”. I’ve loved watching her on Food Network. She added fennel and nigella seeds, and didn’t stuff them. I had something different in mind so I used this dough, and then watched endless YouTube videos on stuffing naan to come up with my own version. Have fun, play around and let me know if you come up with any other stuffings.

In making naan, I often stand over my cast iron pan, frustrated by trying to get nice char marks and yet still allowing the bread dough to be fully cooked inside without burning the outside. This often leaves me less than satisfied! This totally hands off approach yielded the softest naan and the breads were fully cooked while still having wee bits of crunchy dough around the edges and on the tops of the ones that puffed up like a pita.

Chipotle Vinaigrette

Is there anything better than a vinaigrette that you want to use on everything? I doubt it. We’ve used it to dress up grilled vegetables, served it drizzled over a Mexican steak bowl, and of course just as dressing for a simple salad. The added bonus is that this is the easiest dressing to make.

Use it in a variety of ways – today it was drizzled over a Mexican Steak Bowl, and it was perfect with the combination of sweet, smoky and spicy.
  • 1/2 cup avocado oil
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1 chipotle pepper from a can of chipotle in adobo sauce
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste

The directions are embarrassingly easy ….. simply toss it all in a blender and let it whizz until everything is creamy and smooth. The combination of chipotle, honey and lime is brilliant.

Grilled steak and vegetables, served over a bed of Mexi style rice and garnished with a juicy fresh tomato and cilantro salad. This dressing is amazing.

This recipe came from the the Love and Lemons website, and you can be sure anything from Jeanine Donofrio is going to be delicious.

Thai Inspired Steak Salad

It’s hard to spot the salad underneath, but it’s there! A tangle of wheat noodles and crunchy salad greens is the base of this – go ahead and use rice noodles or just omit the noodles entirely.

I love a full meal deal salad! This tangle of vegetables, both fresh and grilled, served mixed with noodles and garnished with steak and nuts is just the best. It’s on repeat around here. Go ahead and splurge for the best steak – you don’t need much to make it a complete meal.

This dressing is the star of the show – it is light and bright with just the perfect amount of zing.

  • 1/2 cup rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tsp fresh lime juice
  • 2-3 tbsp chili garlic sauce
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce (reduced sodium)
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 1/2 tsp raw sugar (or honey)
  • 1 tsp minced ginger
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 tbsp fresh Thai basil, roughly chopped
  • 1 tbsp fresh mint, roughly chopped
  • 1 tbsp fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper, freshly ground
  • 2 tsp toasted sesame seeds **
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
  • 1/3 cup peanut oil
  • kosher salt to taste

** I’m a big fan of toasting nuts or seeds as it adds so much flavour. Watch closely because they go from deeply toasted (my personal favourite) to black …. beware. (yes, I speak from experience)

Whisk all the ingredients, except the oils, together in a bowl. Once combined, slowly drizzle in the oils and continue to whisk until well blended. This is the part where you taste, and adjust if needed – sometimes you need a bit more lime juice, salt or sweetener. If you prefer your dressing on the spicy side, add in a bit of Thai chili or chili flakes.

This recipe is just as versatile as whatever you have on hand. Tonight this dish included:

  • Chinese wheat noodles (cooked)
  • salad greens
  • mint leaves
  • basil leaves
  • cilantro leaves
  • cucumber
  • tomato
  • bean sprouts
  • grilled red pepper
  • grilled zucchini
  • steamed baby bok choy
  • grilled beef tenderloin
  • toasted cashews
  • toasted sesame seeds

I like to make a salad out of the cold cooked noodles and fresh vegetables, and pile that in the bottom of my bowl. Arrange the cooked vegetables around the sides along with the grilled steak. Drizzle with the dressing and sprinkle the cashews and sesame seeds over.

If you have time, and have a steak that needs marinating, just use a bit of the dressing. This works equally well with chicken, pork or tofu. If you want to use shrimp make sure to only give it a quick marinade.

When grilling the vegetables, drizzle with a little of the dressing before and after grilling.

When you start with a fresh salad as the base, everything is tastier!!

Korean Pancakes

OMG – so good. This and a salad was perfect for dinner.

I love making scallion pancakes, really wanted something that could be a whole meal deal, and ended up with this – a bit of mash up between Korean Pajeon pancakes, Japanese Okonomiyaki and Chinese scallion pancakes. This gojuchang dipping sauce makes it slightly more Korean influenced, but if you don’t have gojuchang in your fridge then you could easily make a dipping sauce of soy sauce and rice vinegar. (or buy something!)

PANCAKE BATTER

  • 1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup potato starch (could sub corn starch if this isn’t one of your staples)
  • 1 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 cups ice water
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced

Oil for cooking

VEGETABLE SUGGESTIONS

  • shredded cabbage
  • slivers of spinach
  • very thinly sliced cauliflower
  • minced red onion
  • very thinly sliced red pepper
  • lots of thinly sliced scallions (spring onions)

Prepare all your vegetables and set aside

If you are inclined to do so, go ahead and add shrimp or cooked shredded chicken to make it a heartier pancake. If you do – I’d add it as soon as the batter is spread out in the pan so you can distribute evenly.

DIPPING SAUCE

  • 1/4 cup light soy sauce (I use reduced sodium)
  • 1 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 2 tsp toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 2 tsp gojuchang
  • 1/2 tsp finely slivered ginger
  • 1 minced garlic clove
  • 1 finely sliced spring onion
  • 1 tbsp toasted sesame seeds

Mix well and taste. NO REALLY, SERIOUSLY, TASTE!!! Every different product has a slightly different flavour profile, and you have your own taste preferences so make sure this dipping sauce hits all the notes you are looking for and adjust as needed. Of course, if you aren’t a cooking nut like myself, you may not have all that in your pantry so just buy a jar of dumpling/gyoza dipping sauce! ha ha

METHOD

Whisk together dry ingredients until well combined. Make a well in the centre of the flour mixture and stir in the ice water and minced garlic. Stir just until combined, then add in the vegetables.

I haven’t specified any amounts for the vegetables, so feel free to experiment with how you like the pancakes. This amount of batter will make 4 good size pancakes with a generous serving of vegetables in each one – feel free to pack in as many veg as you like – you literally only need enough batter to hold it all together in the fry pan.

In a non stick pan, heat about 3 tbsp oil until quite hot – stick a wooden chopstick in, and if it sizzles you are ready!

Scoop in about 1 cup of batter and quickly spread it out so it resembles a pancake. Gently swirl the pan allowing the oil to circulate so the pancake gets crispy bits and nicely browned. Like any pancake, only flip it once you start to see bubbles popping on the surface.

Flip, drizzle another tablespoon or so of oil around the edges and swirl so this second side also gets crispy around the edges.

When nicely browned on both sides, remove to paper towel lined plate and keep warm. As soon as you remove it from the heat sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds, and a fresh grate of salt.

This is what I had in the fridge today, so this is what the pancake had! Go ahead and find your own favourites, I really wanted bean sprouts but couldn’t find any decent ones at the store.
You could easily get more vegetables in there, and also create a thinner batter with just a bit more ice water. Whisk an egg into the batter if you are looking for extra protein but want to omit any seafood or meat, and keep it vegetarian.
Todays version included some raw shrimp, which I quickly placed as soon as the batter was down in the pan, and then sprinkled with sesame seeds. I wouldn’t use cooked shrimp as they might toughen up.
What a beauty!
Sprinkle with seasoning as soon as you take them off the pan and keep warm until ready to serve. I also sprinkled with a little bit of Furikake today.

If you have never tried gojuchang, then do so! I love it. My first foray into cooking with it was for KFC, Korean Fried Cauliflower and was immediately hooked. It is a Korean chili paste that has so much flavour – slightly tangy and not too spicy.

Creamy Garlicky Shrimp Tagliatelle

I don’t know about you, but an advertised 20 minute recipe NEVER takes me 20 minutes.  This one was close tho ….. and very easy.  Not only easy, but delicious and I’m more than happy to spend a few more minutes to achieve delicious.

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  • 8 ounces dried tagliatelle pasta (or really, any pasta you like!)
  • 2 tbsp butter (separated, see below)
  • olive oil
  • 10 ounces small, peeled and cleaned shrimp
  • 3 garlic cloves (yes, really)
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine (I like sauvignon blanc but any dry white will work – stay away from sweet tho)
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced onion
  • 1 cup sliced crimini mushrooms
  • 1 cup asparagus (cut into 1″ pieces)
  • 1/2 cup minced sun dried tomatoes
  • 1/2 tsp chili flakes (or to taste)
  • 3/4 cup freshly grated parmesan (do NOT use purchased grated!)
  • 2 tbsp fresh parsley, minced
  • black pepper
  • more parmesan for serving
  1. Get a large pot of water on the stove and bring it to a boil.  Salt and add pasta.  Cook to one minute short of the cooking instructions …. (in order to finish in the cream sauce).
  2. Before draining, scoop out about 1/2 cup of pasta water.
  3. Get a nice flat bottom skillet (non-stick works great here) and melt 1 tbsp butter.  Drain your shrimp and pat dry (you don’t want them to steam) ….. toss the shrimp into the melted butter and sauté quickly – until ALMOST cooked.  Depending on your shrimp size this might only take a minute or two.  There is nothing worse than rubbery, overcooked shrimp.  Well, okay, lots of things are worse including this COVID nightmare we are living through….  Remove from heat and lightly season with salt and pepper.
  4. In the same skillet heat the other tbsp butter and add a splash of olive oil – once melted add the onions, sauté until soft, add mushrooms and cook until just lightly browned, then add the garlic, asparagus and sun dried tomatoes.  Add chili flakes.
  5. Stir in the white wine and allow to reduce slightly, then add the chicken broth, cream and parmesan.  Season to taste ….  I didn’t need to add any more salt but that finishing black pepper is great.
  6. Add your mostly cooked pasta to the skillet and toss to cover.  The sauce will continue to thicken and this is the time to add some of your reserved pasta water a bit at a time, only as needed.  Stir in the shrimp to heat through, toss with parsley and serve with a grating of fresh parmesan and black pepper.
  7. Dig in!
These plump & juicy little guys are barely cooked and will finish in the cream sauce
Easy to make this a vegetarian meal – just stir in as many veg as you like and omit the shrimp.

Miso Herb Roasted Veg stock

The perfect base for any kind of soup – wonton tonight, laksa another night.

Cold dreary days lead to healing soups! Even the start of this, with the miso coated vegetables roasting in the oven promises great flavour. I promise you will feel like brighter days are coming by the time you finish this bowl of deliciousness. (Is that a word?)

  • 4 tbsp white miso paste
  • 3 tbsp grapeseed oil (or other neutral oil)
  • 3 tbsp water
  • 3 cups shiitake mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 sheet of dried seaweed (optional but recommended)
  • 1 large yellow onion, skin on, thinly sliced
  • 1 large carrot, scrubbed clean and thinly sliced
  • 2 large celery stalks, thinly sliced
  • 2 heads of garlic, cut in half, skins on
  • 4 inch knob of ginger, unpeeled, thinly sliced
  • 5 sprigs parsley (or any other herb you have around!)

To finish: juice of one lemon, salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 325 and cover a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a small bowl combine miso, oil and water, whisk to combine.

Place piece of seaweed and all prepared veg on the parchment and toss well with the miso mixture.

Roast for at least an hour, until veg are lightly browned.

Turn into a large stock pot, and cover with 10 cups of water. Bring to a boil and then simmer for 1-2 hours.

Strain the stock off, discard the vegetables (you’ve cooked all the goodness out of them!) and add in the juice of 1 lemon, seasoning to taste with salt and pepper.

This is delicious!!! I got it from the kitchen of Jillian Harris, she calls it Gut Healing Veggie Broth, and it is a sure fired winner.

Don’t you just know how good it is going to be already??
Once that miso gets tossed in there with it all and starts roasting your whole house smells fabulous.
The broth alone is a great starting place for amazing soups.
LAKSA – totally delicious with this stock.

Korean Kimchi Fritters

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I am really not certain about how authentically Korean these fritters (Pajeon – pancakes??) are, but anything with kimchi & bound together with some potato starch is a step in the right direction.

We loved the way this entire bunch of vegetables was quickly tied together in a very light batter that puffed up and was still so delicate.  Don’t miss out on the dipping sauce – its the perfect accompaniment.

PANCAKES/FRITTERS

  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup potato starch (or 1/4 cup each white rice flour and cornstarch)
  • ¾ teaspoon fine sea salt, plus more as needed
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¾ cup ice water
  • 1 large egg
  • ¼ cup finely chopped kimchi
  • 4 cups finely chopped or grated mixed vegetables (carrots, zucchini, bell peppers, kale, whatever you’ve got)
  • 4 scallions, cut into 2-inch-long sections and thinly sliced lengthwise
  • 2 tablespoons grapeseed or peanut oil, plus more as needed

DIPPING SAUCE

(highly recommend doubling it if you like dipping as much as we do)

  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons rice wine vinegar, plus more to taste
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated fresh ginger or garlic (optional)
  • ½ teaspoon sesame oil, plus more to taste
  • Pinch of granulated sugar

PREPARATION

  1. Prepare the pancakes: In a large bowl, whisk together all-purpose flour, potato starch, salt and baking powder.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine water, egg and kimchi. Whisk kimchi mixture into flour mixture, and whisk until smooth. Fold in vegetables and about three-quarters of the scallions. (Save the rest for garnish.)
  3. In a large nonstick skillet over medium heat, heat 2 tablespoons oil. Scoop 1/4 cup portions of batter into the skillet, as many as will fit while not touching, flatten, and fry until dark golden on the bottom, about 2 to 3 minutes. Flip and continue to fry until other side is browned, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate and sprinkle with a little more salt. Continue with remaining batter.
  4. Before serving, make the dipping sauce: In a small bowl, stir together soy sauce, vinegar, ginger or garlic (if using), sesame oil and sugar. Sprinkle sliced scallion over pancakes, and serve with dipping sauce on the side.

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When you start with a big bowl full of these colourful vegetables you just know it is going to be delicious!  Today I used zucchini, orange bell peppers, red onion and the leafy parts of Gai lan.

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don’t overcrowd your pan – these fritters need some room to crisp up and not steam

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These were so good I can’t wait to make them again!

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I served the fritters with Korean Gojuchang noodles, and while it was all finger licking delicious, the colours and textures just cried for something green and crunchy – maybe lightly stir fried broccoli?  Strange given that this whole meal is so vegetable forward, but I really wanted something light and crunchy to go with it all. Next time.

I found this recipe on NYT cooking, and couldn’t wait to try it.  The fritters are as versatile as the vegetables found in your garden or fridge.  I love the way red onions cook up, so used those in place of scallions in today’s effort.

 

Rhubarb Blueberry Oat Bars

Is there anything better than oat bars that you can grab and eat while doing whatever you need to be doing?  These are absolute perfection, with a hint of sweetness from the blueberries (last years frozen) and a bit of tang from the rhubarb (fresh this year).

Rhubarb 2

These bars have the exact perfect ratio of fruit to oat bar, I could have devoured many more than I did.  Thank goodness I didn’t.  It’s hard enough not to eat all the sourdough I’m baking!

Ingredients

  • 3 cups Rhubarb Cut Into 1 Inch Pieces
  • 3 cups Blueberries
  • 2 Tablespoons Lemon Juice
  • 3/4 cup Sugar
  • 4 Tablespoons Cornstarch
  • 1-½ cup All-purpose Flour
  • 1-½ cup Uncooked Quick Cooking Oats (not Instant)
  • 3/4 cup Brown Sugar
  • ¾ cup Softened Butter
  • ½ teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon Salt

Preparation

Preheat oven to 350ºF.

Combine rhubarb, blueberries and lemon juice in a large saucepan and cook over medium heat until rhubarb is softened. No added liquid is needed as the water from the rhubarb and blueberries will come out naturally.

In a small bowl, combine sugar and cornstarch. Mix well to break up the lumps of cornstarch. Set aside.

While rhubarb and blueberries are cooking, begin making the crust. Combine flour, oats, brown sugar, butter, baking soda and salt together in a bowl until well mixed and crumbly. Reserve 1 1/2 cups of crust to be used as a topping. Grease a 13×9 pan with cooking spray. Press remaining crust mixture into the pan in an even layer. Set aside.

When rhubarb and blueberries are softened, use a potato masher to mash and smooth out the larger chunks. Once bigger pieces are broken up, mix in the sugar/cornstarch mixture. Continue to stir until thickened.

Once mixture is thickened, pour over crust. Top with reserved crust mixture.

Bake at 350ºF for 30 minutes.

Rhubarb 1

Ready for the oven, and it already smells heavenly.

Rhubarb 3

Make sure they cool completely before cutting them.

I found this recipe on http://www.tastykitchen.com, and the only changes I made were to include some cinnamon in the crust/topping mixture and reduce the sugar a bit … these are also their tips:

Tips:
1. Mixing the sugar and cornstarch together will prevent lumps of cornstarch in your mixture.
2. The bars will puff up considerably, so don’t be alarmed when you open the oven to take out the bars. They will be a bit jiggly. That’s OK! They are done!
3. When they cool, they’ll “deflate” a bit and set up nicely.