Strawberry Rhubarb Parmesan Crisp

Strawberry Rhubarb Parmesan Crisp

I try to bring something new and different to all the foods that I post about, but sometimes I just crave something simple and classic. Such was the case when I found some gorgeous strawberries and rhubarb at the farmer’s market this weekend.

I couldn’t let you guys down with yet another strawberry rhubarb crisp/crumble/cobbler/crostata though, so I rummaged through the fridge in search of some inspiration. It came in the form of two off-white blocks sitting on my cheese shelf.

The first was a brick of Callebaut white chocolate. My initial thought was to melt and substitute it in place of the butter and sugar. While I’m sure it would have been quite tasty, I’ve already done white chocolate and strawberries before and was ready for something different.

Strawberries and Rhubarb with a Parmesan Crip Topping

Enter the second off-white block, a hunk of Parmigiano-Reggiano. Since most desserts contain a nominal amount salt, I wasn’t too concerned about the saltiness. But would the savoury parmesan cheese work in this sweet this dessert? There was only one way to find out.

After only 10 minutes of prep and 20 minutes in the oven, I had my answer, and it’s an emphatic YES! In fact I’m now wondering what other desserts I can integrate parm-reg into. The smooth nuttiness of the cheese compliments the butter and brown sugar perfectly and it’s the perfect counterpoint to the sweet strawberries and tart rhubarb.

There’s isn’t enough cheese in the topping to make it a prominent flavour, so in case you’re wondering: no, it doesn’t taste like Parmesan cheese. I would actually be impressed if someone were able to pick the flavour out. What it does add is some creamy earthy notes to the topping, while helping it crisp and hold together better. It also infuses umami into the crust, bringing out some hidden flavours in the strawberries and rhubarb.

Stawberry Rhubarb Parmesan Crisp

1 lbs strawberries cored and quartered
1 C rhubarb chopped
1/4 C sugar (more if your strawberries aren’t ripe)
1 tsp corn starch

1/2 C old fashioned oatmeal (not the quick cook kind)
1/2 oz grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
3 Tbs dark brown sugar
2 Tbs melted unsalted butter
1/4 tsp vanilla

Put the oven rack in the middle position and preheat to 350 degrees F.

Toss the strawberries and rhubarb with the sugar and cornstarch in a glass 9×9 baking dish.

In a bowl, mix the oatmeal, Parmigiano-Reggiano, and brown sugar until combined. Stir the vanilla into the melted butter then pour this mixture over the oats. Quickly stir together until it’s all wet and clumpy.

Scatter the mixture over the strawberries then put the baking dish in the oven until the strawberries are bubbling and the top has crisped (about 20 minutes).

Enjoy with some vanilla ice cream or a dollop of creme fraiche.

  • http://manggy.blogspot.com/ Manggy

    Don’t you mean an emphatic “No”? ;) Anyway, I love the way you think. It actually is a heckuva lot interesting than an equivalent amount of salt (yawn!)! Our strawberries can’t arrive on the shelves soon enough!

    • marc

      Hahaha nice catch, I’ve revised that line to make more sense. Thanks:-)

  • http://manggy.blogspot.com Manggy

    Don’t you mean an emphatic “No”? ;) Anyway, I love the way you think. It actually is a heckuva lot interesting than an equivalent amount of salt (yawn!)! Our strawberries can’t arrive on the shelves soon enough!

    • marc

      Hahaha nice catch, I’ve revised that line to make more sense. Thanks:-)

  • http://blog.lemonpi.net/ Y

    I really adore the apple tart/crumble and cheese combo, so I’m pretty sure I’d love this too. Sounds so much more interesting than option #1 : white chocolate :)

  • http://blog.lemonpi.net Y

    I really adore the apple tart/crumble and cheese combo, so I’m pretty sure I’d love this too. Sounds so much more interesting than option #1 : white chocolate :)

  • http://thesplitpea.blogspot.com/ Eralda

    It sounds so good and looks lovely!

  • http://thesplitpea.blogspot.com Eralda

    It sounds so good and looks lovely!

  • http://souvlakiforthesoul.com/ Peter G

    Initially I wasn’t so sure…but I eat cheese with fruit normally, so I can’t see it being a problem. Your experiments are fantastic!

  • http://souvlakiforthesoul.com Peter G

    Initially I wasn’t so sure…but I eat cheese with fruit normally, so I can’t see it being a problem. Your experiments are fantastic!

  • http://www.shesimmers.com/ Leela

    I like the calculated risk of pairing a sweet element with a savory one. When they work, they work beautifully; when they don’t work, they’re completely inedible. I can imagine how delicious this combo must be.

  • http://www.shesimmers.com/ Leela

    I like the calculated risk of pairing a sweet element with a savory one. When they work, they work beautifully; when they don’t work, they’re completely inedible. I can imagine how delicious this combo must be.

  • http://haleysuzanne.wordpress.com/ Haley J.

    I love this recipe! I like to use a little parmesan in almost any crumb topping or breading, usually things like stuffed mushrooms or fried green tomatoes. I’ve never thought to use it in a dessert before, but it makes sense. I see how it can provide the same function in a crumble topping. I can’t wait to see what else you come up with for it!

  • http://haleysuzanne.wordpress.com Haley J.

    I love this recipe! I like to use a little parmesan in almost any crumb topping or breading, usually things like stuffed mushrooms or fried green tomatoes. I’ve never thought to use it in a dessert before, but it makes sense. I see how it can provide the same function in a crumble topping. I can’t wait to see what else you come up with for it!

  • http://melanger.wordpress.com/ Julia @ Mélanger

    Funny. I have been craving some of the ‘classics’ lately, too. Often so simple, but delicious. Especially with beautiful, fresh produce. Looks great! :)

  • http://melanger.wordpress.com Julia @ Mélanger

    Funny. I have been craving some of the ‘classics’ lately, too. Often so simple, but delicious. Especially with beautiful, fresh produce. Looks great! :)

  • http://onlinepastrychef.wordpress.com/ Jenni

    First, I’ve missed you this week.

    Second, I bought strawberry and rhubarb at our farmer’s market with this very idea in mind! Not the parmesan part, which makes perfect sense, by the way, but still.

    The conversation went like this:

    Oooh–that rhubarb looks lovely! Let’s go find some strawberries to go with.

    So, do you want a crisp-type deal or a cobbler-type deal?

    Crisp.

    W/oatmeal?

    Yes.

    So, that’s happening tonight. I think I’ll put basil in mine and maybe a smidge of balsamic, just for fun.

    Thanks, as always, for the inspiration, Marc!

  • http://onlinepastrychef.wordpress.com/ Jenni

    First, I’ve missed you this week.

    Second, I bought strawberry and rhubarb at our farmer’s market with this very idea in mind! Not the parmesan part, which makes perfect sense, by the way, but still.

    The conversation went like this:

    Oooh–that rhubarb looks lovely! Let’s go find some strawberries to go with.

    So, do you want a crisp-type deal or a cobbler-type deal?

    Crisp.

    W/oatmeal?

    Yes.

    So, that’s happening tonight. I think I’ll put basil in mine and maybe a smidge of balsamic, just for fun.

    Thanks, as always, for the inspiration, Marc!

  • http://www.talidabakes.com/ talida

    Great recipe, love the flavor combo.

  • http://www.talidabakes.com talida

    Great recipe, love the flavor combo.

  • http://lisaiscooking.blogspot.com/ lisaiscooking

    Sounds really interesting! I sampled some parm reg gelato a few weeks ago. Because of the cold temperature, the flavor really didn’t come through at all. In a baked dessert, it would definitely have more character. Would love to taste this!

  • http://lisaiscooking.blogspot.com/ lisaiscooking

    Sounds really interesting! I sampled some parm reg gelato a few weeks ago. Because of the cold temperature, the flavor really didn’t come through at all. In a baked dessert, it would definitely have more character. Would love to taste this!

  • http://www.MyOwnSweetThyme.com/ Lisa

    Cool! I like the way you bring salty into this familiar strawberry season recipe. I also enjoy your description of how and why it works. My favorite recipes are the ones that make me think and start moving in new directions.

  • http://www.MyOwnSweetThyme.com Lisa

    Cool! I like the way you bring salty into this familiar strawberry season recipe. I also enjoy your description of how and why it works. My favorite recipes are the ones that make me think and start moving in new directions.

  • http://fivestarfoodie.blogspot.com/ Natasha – 5 Star Foodie

    The addition of Parmesan to the crisp sounds excellent! A very creative idea!

  • http://fivestarfoodie.blogspot.com Natasha – 5 Star Foodie

    The addition of Parmesan to the crisp sounds excellent! A very creative idea!

  • http://kitchensidecar.blogspot.com/ katiek @kitchensidecar

    El Slavadorean “quesadilla” which is more like a sour crema pound cake also contain parmesean cheese.

    ballzy dish.

  • http://kitchensidecar.blogspot.com katiek @kitchensidecar

    El Slavadorean “quesadilla” which is more like a sour crema pound cake also contain parmesean cheese.

    ballzy dish.

  • http://www.practicallydone.com/ helen

    What a neat idea! I love adding a bit of cleverness into a dish that gets people thinking.

    I might even work in a little balsamic vinegar…

  • http://www.practicallydone.com helen

    What a neat idea! I love adding a bit of cleverness into a dish that gets people thinking.

    I might even work in a little balsamic vinegar…

  • http://duodishes.com/ The Duo Dishes

    You stumbled in the right direction alright. Great idea. We should try that.

  • http://duodishes.com The Duo Dishes

    You stumbled in the right direction alright. Great idea. We should try that.

  • http://pithyandcleaver.com/ maggie (p&c)

    Mmm. I bet it works!
    Speaking of your two white blocks–I was recently a dinner at which a block of white chocolate was served next to various cheeses. Unsuspecting guests were SHOCKED when they put a chunk in their mouths!

  • http://pithyandcleaver.com maggie (p&c)

    Mmm. I bet it works!
    Speaking of your two white blocks–I was recently a dinner at which a block of white chocolate was served next to various cheeses. Unsuspecting guests were SHOCKED when they put a chunk in their mouths!

  • http://diaryofafanaticfoodie.com/ Heather

    yummm. i bookmarked and emailed this after reading just the title. it sounds amazing!!!!!

  • http://diaryofafanaticfoodie.com Heather

    yummm. i bookmarked and emailed this after reading just the title. it sounds amazing!!!!!

  • http://www.foodgal.com/ Carolyn Jung

    I bet this is aweseome. I love a little sweet with salty, pungent cheese. This is a very creative take on that theme.

  • http://www.foodgal.com Carolyn Jung

    I bet this is aweseome. I love a little sweet with salty, pungent cheese. This is a very creative take on that theme.

  • http://blog.american-otaku.com/ alecho

    OH!!! looks sooooo yummy! I’ve been cooking for this one girl I want to impress, and she loves dessert! I’m gonna give this a try! Maybe this will finally win me a kiss ;)

  • http://blog.american-otaku.com alecho

    OH!!! looks sooooo yummy! I’ve been cooking for this one girl I want to impress, and she loves dessert! I’m gonna give this a try! Maybe this will finally win me a kiss ;)

  • http://cooking-up-a-storm-zaayeka.blogspot.com/ Navita

    Hi Marc, love the sound of this delicious crisp. :)

    As for ‘lentils’ taking a long time. Heres’ a secret trick (well no more a secret);p… the rule of thumb is if the grain/lentil is bigger and unsplit it will take a longer time to soak for eg, chick peas, horse grams etc.
    in this case , you can soak it for approx 2 hours in warm water with 1/2 tsp of soda-bicarb, and then pressure cook.

    And for the split lentils, which are smaller like toor daal,
    moong daal etc just wash them well and pressure cook them for 3-4 whistles.

    hope this helps…just shoot me any more questions, will be happy to help :)

  • http://cooking-up-a-storm-zaayeka.blogspot.com/ Navita

    Hi Marc, love the sound of this delicious crisp. :)

    As for ‘lentils’ taking a long time. Heres’ a secret trick (well no more a secret);p… the rule of thumb is if the grain/lentil is bigger and unsplit it will take a longer time to soak for eg, chick peas, horse grams etc.
    in this case , you can soak it for approx 2 hours in warm water with 1/2 tsp of soda-bicarb, and then pressure cook.

    And for the split lentils, which are smaller like toor daal,
    moong daal etc just wash them well and pressure cook them for 3-4 whistles.

    hope this helps…just shoot me any more questions, will be happy to help :)

  • http://www.whatdoiwant2cooktoday.blogspot.com/ Jan

    This looks amazing!

  • http://www.whatdoiwant2cooktoday.blogspot.com Jan

    This looks amazing!

  • Pingback: The Crisp Confluence « Pastry Methods and Techniques

  • http://obsessedwithbaking.blogspot.com/ Steph

    Cheese in a crisp? That’s so cool!

  • http://obsessedwithbaking.blogspot.com Steph

    Cheese in a crisp? That’s so cool!

  • http://www.thedailyspud.com Daily Spud

    That’s a little piece of genius Marc. I’ve been known to eat sharp cheese on a cracker with strawberry jam, so I have no trouble buying into this idea.

  • http://www.thedailyspud.com/ Daily Spud

    That’s a little piece of genius Marc. I’ve been known to eat sharp cheese on a cracker with strawberry jam, so I have no trouble buying into this idea.

  • http://food.lizsteinberg.com/ Liz

    Rhubarb, strawberries and Parmesan sound like an interesting combo. I think they could go well in a savory (not sweet) dish as well.

  • http://food.lizsteinberg.com Liz

    Rhubarb, strawberries and Parmesan sound like an interesting combo. I think they could go well in a savory (not sweet) dish as well.

  • Pingback: This Week’s Greenmarket Pick: Strawberries! | NonaBrooklyn

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