Sunday, February 28, 2010

Roasted Romanesco - Italian Cauliflower

I discovered this gorgeous vegetable a few years ago but I had never seen it at the farmers' markets here until a couple of weeks ago. I can't stop buying it or eating it and everyone I introduce it to is similarly obsessed.

I have only roasted it with olive oil and salt and pepper, which brings out its nutty cauliflower flavor. But at the same time there is a hint of green, like roasted spinach or Swiss chard.

While this hardly qualifies as a recipe I just wanted to get the word out about this amazing vegetable. I have a feeling it is very seasonal and will disappear soon. If you can find it get some!

Roasted Romanesco

1 head romanescu, cut into florets
olive oil

Toss florets with oil and salt and bake at 400 degrees for 40-45 minutes. Dust with pepper after you remove from oven.


Friday, February 26, 2010

Red Quinoa Tabbouleh

Quinoa (pronounced Keen-wa) is one of those super grains that has become all the rage, and with good reason. It is full of complex carbohydrates, protein, and is gluten free, a boon for people who cannot eat gluten. In addition, it cooks up quickly and soaks up flavor without tasting starchy.

Quinoa grains come in white, red and black, and while there is no difference in taste that I notice, I like the red for its color. Here it combines well with the tabbouleh flavors of garlic, lemon, parsley, mint and olive oil to create a wonderful salad.

Traditionally tabbouleh includes onion, cucumber and tomatoes. Unfortunately I didn't have any cucumber so I substituted some celery for a little crunch and was happy with the substitution. Feel free to do as you like!

Red Quinoa Tabbouleh

1 cup dry red quinoa
2 1/2 cups water
5 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups chopped parsley
1 cup chopped mint
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 lemons, juiced
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes, quartered
2 stalks celery, diced
pepper to taste

Place quinoa in pot with water; bring to boil and reduce to simmer and cover, cook 20 minutes or until all water is absorbed. While quinoa is still hot, stir in garlic and 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add parsley and mint and mix well. Add lemon juice and remaining olive oil and stir well. Add salt, celery, and tomatoes and pepper to taste. Allow to chill for flavors to marry.


Thursday, February 25, 2010

Farmers' Market Bounty - February 24

Take a gander at some of the lovelies available at the Santa Monica Farmers' Market this week. Gorgeous carrots that come in orange, purple and white, alongside of red and golden beets

Hubbard and kabocha squashes side by side with butternut and spaghetti squash.

I bought some strawberries to couple with the rhubarb in a simple preserve (look for the recipe soon.)

These chanterelle mushrooms are huge, like forest coral.

Greens are going strong and celery root has finally made an appearance as well. I'm pickling it with carrots in a traditional Sicilian way.


Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Grilled Artichokes with Aioli

Artichokes were the first food for which I developed an extreme obsession. Growing up on the East Coast they were only available in season, which last about 6 weeks. Every May when I returned from college I knew my mother would have several cooked ones waiting for me in the refrigerator. I would gorge on artichokes, easily eating two or three in one sitting. Dipping them in homemade vinaigrette and scraping off every last edible bit was my idea of food heaven.

Not until I lived in California did I see an artichoke plant and the sight of my obsession growing on huge aloe-like bushes was astounding. Picking some off of said bushes and then steaming and eating them was almost a supernatural experience. Now that I have grown somewhat accustomed to seeing them growing in fields I am losing some of that first blush of awe, but it has not dulled my enthusiasm for them.

Last week we were experiencing atypically warm weather in L.A. and decided to grill dinner in honor of the heat. Having just procured some artichokes on sale I knew that it was time to try them grilled, the traditional Italian way. Aioli, the homemade garlic mayonnaise, is the traditional dipping sauce used by the French with artichokes and it perfectly complimented the grilled flavor of the artichoke. Incidentally, my dinner guests assured me that aioli would compliment just about anything! Making aioli was simpler than I imagined and it was all quickly eaten up!

Grilled Artichokes with Aioli

2 artichokes per person (or more if you want leftovers)
olive oil

Trim artichokes by chopping off 1/2 to 1 inch of the tops and snapping off the hard leaves at the base of the globe near the stem. Drop the artichokes in a bowl of water with 1 teaspoon of lemon juice in it since the leaves will begin to brown as soon as they are cut. Peel the outer skin off of the stems (which are edible). In large pot with a lid, steam artichokes, cut side down, in medium boiling water for 15 minutes to parboil them. Remove from pot and allow to cool. Before grilling, drizzle with olive oil and season with salt.

Prepare a charcoal grill and allow coals to burn until they are white and the flames have died down. Cut artichokes in half and grill flat side down for about 5 minutes. Serve immediately or serve chilled.

Aioli (Homemade Mayonnaise with Garlic)

4-5 garlic cloves, peeled
1 teaspoon salt
2 egg yolks
1/2 cup safflower oil
1/2 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon white wine vinegar (or cider vinegar or white vinegar)
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon prepared smooth mustard (I used a Dijon)
metal mixing bowl (or ceramic) and whisk, chilled for 15 minutes

In a mortar and pestle mash the garlic and salt together until it is as smooth as you can make it. Transfer to mixing bowl and add egg yolks, whipping with whisk until very well blended. With one hand whisking yolks, begin to add olive oil in drops (using a tablespoon to scoop up some oil and allow it to run drop by drop into the yolks) and beat furiously. The point is to create an emulsion with the yolks and the oil so furious beating is required. If you can see the oil creating rivulets in the yolks, stop adding oil and beat for 10 seconds until it is well combined. Add all of the olive oil in this manner. Add vinegar and beat in well. Add 1/2 of the safflower oil (or other vegetable oil) in the same manner until it is all combined. Your aioli will begin to thicken. Add the lemon juice and mustard, beating well after each addition. Taste for salt and finish adding last of the oil. Chill to allow flavor to meld and intensify. This produces a mayonnaise that is a little thicker than store bought and will keep refrigerated and tightly capped for about 5 days. Makes about 1 1/2 cups.


Monday, February 22, 2010

Grated Beet Salad, Italian Style

Beets are definitely one of those vegetables that many people revisit in their adult years and generally fall in love with them.

(Just as an aside, I wonder how the beet gods feel about that...)

Since Market Gardeners (what people call the farmers at farmer's markets) have started growing a wider variety of beets, it's the perfect place to try out some new varieties. I had never bought golden beets and was shocked to find that their inside was an iridescent neon yellow rather than the orange of the skin.

The rings in the beet growth - similar to the rings of a tree trunk - are so delicate in the golden beets but just as apparent. I roasted them and they had a much mellower beet flavor than their red counterpart. Here I grated them together with a red beet, and while the photo doesn't show it as well, the shredded golden beet turned orange from the red beet juice.

This is a simple salad, made in a traditional Italian style for carrots. It is best to let this sit for a couple of hours for the beet flavor to emerge.

Grated Beet Salad, Italian Style

1 medium golden beet, peeled and shredded
1 small red beet, peeled and shredded
juice from 1 lemon
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 plus teaspoon salt to taste
1 tablespoon fresh mint, chiffonaded

Combine beets with lemon juice, olive and salt, adding 1/2 teaspoon of salt at a time. The salt brings out the beet juice which brings out the flaor and the sweetness of the salad. Add mint if you like. Chill several hours before serving.


Saturday, February 20, 2010

White Mushroom Pizza

I am really enjoying exploring how to make different versions of what can be called pizza. This one took inspiration from two places: a failed attempt at making mushroom ragout with creme fraiche and a recent post on Bitten by Edward Schneider.

I had purchased several different types of mushrooms - shiitake, cremini, chanterelle - in anticipation of trying to make a mushroom ragout that used creme fraiche, but never seemed to be in the mood for pasta with the ragout sauce. When I read Bitten and saw that Edward Schneider made a pizza with sauteed mushrooms and cream and used that as a pizza sauce and base I decided to try it.

Using creme fraiche instead of simply cream seemed an acceptable solution and I added some grated parmesan to the dough before spooning over the mushroom ragout. I really loved how the mushrooms played the starring role with very little distraction from a cheese. It was more of a mushroom tart rather than a pizza but very tasty!

White Mushroom Pizza

Pizza dough to fit small cookie sheet
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese grated
1 1/2 lbs assorted mushrooms, sliced in 1/3 inch slices
1 leek, cleaned, white and light green portion, cut in half and sliced thin
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
4 larges pieces dried porcini mushrooms, hydrated in 1 cup boiling water
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 cup white wine
1 cup creme fraiche

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Soak porcini mushrooms in 2 cups boiling water and set aside to rehydrate for at least 15 minutes. Saute leeks in olive oil for 5
minutes until they begin to soften. Add mushrooms and toss to coat, cooking over medium heat for 10 minutes until mushrooms give up much of their water. Remove porcini from water and chop. Add to mushrooms and add 1 cup of mushroom liquid to pot and turn up to high heat and boil away. Add white wine and cook until evaporated. Add salt and thyme and cook another few minutes. Stir in creme fraiche and cook 5 minutes until sauce thickens.

Sprinkle cornmeal on cookie pan and stretch dough to desired thinness. Sprinkle parmesan cheese on dough and spoon mushroom mixture over cheese. Bake for 12 minutes until sauce is bubbling and crust is lightly browned.


Friday, February 19, 2010

Farmers' Market Bounty - February 17

For the past couple of weeks my day off happens to fall on Wednesdays which is the day of the best Farmers' Market in Santa Monica. Since I've been going I've loved discovering what is really local and in season. Even though I'm in Southern California we still are getting typical winter veggies like lots of roots - carrots, parsnips, turnips and beets. But it is also citrus season so coupled with the rhubarb and cauliflower we got beautiful blood oranges. Unfortunately I forgot my camera for the trip to the market so this time the photos were taken at home, but next week that will change.


We went a little overboard in our shopping (which happens too often at the market!) But we walked home with: snap peas, cauliflower, romanescu cauliflower, celery root, rhubarb, blood oranges and navel oranges, brussel sprouts and a chermoya.


Thursday, February 18, 2010

Preserved Lemons, Moroccan Style

Preserved lemons are high on my new favorite ingredients list and while I have posted a link to making them, they are so photo worthy that I decided to devote an entire post to them.

Because you really need to use thin skinned lemons to make them, which in the U.S. translates into using meyer lemons, I wanted to post this before the season for meyers ended. Also, because you're eating the skin it is best to buy organic so that you're not preserving pesticides along with your lemons!

I'm still making a few batches to ensure I have some for the remainder of the year and this picture is my second batch in a pint jar. As you can see from the photo, you essentially cut a lemon in quarters, but not all the way through and then stuff it with good salt (kosher, coarse sea salt) and allow the salt to bring out the juice which pickles or "preserves" the rind.

If you are looking for some diversity in preserving your lemons, check out Hunter Angler, Gardener Cook's recent post on preserving lemons from cuisines around the world and experiment!

Preserved Lemons, Moroccan Style

8-10 organic meyer lemons, washed and dried
salt (kosher, coarse sea salt, your choice)

Cut lemon in quarters but not all the way through to create a tulip like opening. Cram as much salt into the open lemon as you can over a bowl to catch excess salt. Press filled lemon into bottom of jar and repeat with remaining lemons. It is best to fill to top as lemons will reduce as they preserve. Allow to sit out for a couple of days, pressing lemons below lemon juice to ensure preservation. After 1 week, pour olive oil over top to cover. Refrigerate and it will keep indefinitely. Lemons will continue to preserve, meaning that they will be very soft if you have them after a year. To use scrape pulp off of rind and mince.


Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Fried Purple Potatoes with Bacon

Potatoes are one of my favorite ingredients - baked, boiled, sauteed, mashed - they never fail to satisfy. When you consider the different sizes and colors not to mention all the ways to enhance this noble vegetable it is no surprise that the sky's the limit!

While potatoes have gotten a bad rep for the modern predilection for frying them or heaping sour cream, butter and bacon on them, they are nutritional powerhouses that include several B vitamins and vitamin C, minerals like potassium and magnesium, and in the red and purple varieties, important anti-oxidants. Nutrition aside, I love the color they bring to any dish!

If you have any gardening impulses try planting potatoes. It is such a treat to grow different varieties and nothing compares to digging up these treasures. Finding them cradled in the soil after pulling away their green tops is one of the most exciting parts of growing your own vegetables! If you buy purple ones, make sure they are purple all the way through; some are white on the inside.

While I love potatoes as additions to soups, stews, Indian curries and other dishes, sometimes I want to just eat potato in its simple glory. Here is a perfect example; sauteed purple potato in a few pieces of bacon. The gorgeous royal purple hue of the potato mixed with the smokiness of the bacon adds a decadence that only serves to enhance the creamy potato flesh. Such a treat!

Fried Purple Potatoes with Bacon

1-2 purple potatoes, washed and sliced in 1/2 inch slices
2 strips fatty bacon, diced

Saute bacon in heavy bottom skillet until fat begins to render. Add potatoes and toss to coat for 2-3 minutes. Turn heat down to medium low and allow potatoes to crisp on both sides. Season with salt and pepper as desired and serve.


Sunday, February 14, 2010

Buckwheat Walnut and Currant Muffins

Happy Valentine's Day! Since it falls on a Sunday morning, what better way to show your love food-wise than bringing breakfast in bed to your better half.

These amazing muffins are the perfect blend of savory, sweet, and healthy but not too heavy and are great with butter or fruit preserves. I found the recipe here and substituted bread flour for the rice flour and added some cardamom, my favorite spice for baking. They were quick for a baking item and I plan to try a variety of other additions like crystalized ginger and walnuts or dried cranberries and pecans. Wednesday's Bitten blog also featured a healthy muffin that suggested using cooked winter squash (butternut, pumpkin) or sweet potato, all of which I have used in the past and work well (substitute the cooked squash for the applesauce.) In this instance I didn't have any applesauce on hand. So following my lazy/DIY impulse, I simply peeled two small apples, diced them and boiled them with just enough water to cover them until I could mash them. Perfect!

Buckwheat Walnut and Currant Muffins

3/4 cup bread flour
3/4 cup buckwheat flour
1/2 cup ground flaxseed
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup currants
2 eggs
1/4 cup sunflower or safflower oil
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce (or 1 cup peeled, diced apples boiled in water to cover and mashed)
1 cup buttermilk

Preheat oven to 375°F. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners and set aside. In a large bowl, whisk together bread flour, buckwheat flour, flaxseed, brown sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, salt and currants. In a second large bowl, whisk together eggs, oil, applesauce and buttermilk. Add flour mixture to buttermilk mixture and stir until just combined. Spoon batter into prepared muffin tins and bake until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean, about 24 minutes. Cool muffins in pan for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to finish cooling.


Friday, February 12, 2010

Chicken Parmesan

If you're thinking about making a special dinner for your loved one this weekend consider Chicken Parmesan. It's delicious comfort food that doesn't feel like a rock in your stomach (like steak) and can be prepared in advance.

The crispiness of the chicken pairs oh so well with the creaminess of the cheese and the tomato sauce. I love making these kind of dishes at home, feeling like you get restaurant quality food but in the comfort of your own house, which is the perfect combination for an intimate meal with your beloved.

If you want to skip the frying and baking part, see my short cut version here, but I strongly recommend the full version since the chicken is just so tender when fried!

Chicken Parmesan

1 lb boneless chicken breasts, filleted to about 1/2 inch thick (6-7 pieces)
2 eggs, beaten
1 1/2 cups breads crumbs (flavored or just seasoned with salt and pepper)
1/2 cup white flour
high heat cooking oil for skillet, enough for 1 1/2 inches deep in pan
2 cups prepared tomato sauce
1 cup shredded parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 400. Bread chicken breasts by first dipping chicken in flour, than dip it into egg and then roll into breadcrumbs and pat to create a crust. Set aside to rest and finish rest of breasts. Allow to rest for 15 minutes. Warm tomato sauce over low heat. Heat oil in skillet over medium high heat heat until bread crumb sizzles and turns brown within 1 minute. Fry chicken in oil until it browns on each side, about 5 minutes on each side. Remove from oil and drain on paper towels. In baking dish that will accommodate chicken in two layers, spread one tablespoon of sauce, top with layer of cooked chicken, spoon half of tomato sauce over chicken, sprinkle half of cheese over sauce, layer remaining chicken, then sauce and cheese and bake for 30 minutes until cheese is melted and browning and sauce is bubbly. Remove from oven and allow to rest 5 minutes before serving.

Note: If you're making it ahead of time, fry up the chicken in advance and then refrigerate. When you're ready to assemble make sure sauce is heated and chicken is at room temperature.


Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Moroccan Fish Stew with Chermoula

I basically eat what is known as a Mediterranean diet so I'm always looking for interesting fish recipes. This one combines my love of cilantro and my interest in Moroccan cooking.

After thumbing through my newest cookbook, The Tajine Deck, I settled on the Fish with Chickpeas recipe mainly because it included the traditional Moroccan fish marinade of Chermoula. I was intrigued by yet another cuisine that used cilantro as the base for a condiment (see Argentinean Chimichurri and Indian Chutney) and knew I had to try it.

I left out the chickpeas and added several vegetables to make it more of a one pot meal and it was fantastic. Serving it over barley the stew was a wonderful blend of the cilantro chermoula, preserved lemon and braised fennel, kale and shallots. Perfect winter comfort food!

1 cup cilantro, chopped
3 garlic cloves
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon cumin seeds, toasted and ground
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup olive oil
1 preserved lemon, chopped

Combine all in food processor and season (carefully) with salt (preserved lemon is very salty).

Moroccan Fish Stew with Chermoula

1 lb halibut
1 cup chermoula
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 shallot, sliced
1/2 bulb fennel, sliced thin
8 leaves tuscan kale (aka black or lacinto), chopped
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
1/2 cup of water
1 whole preserved lemon, cut into strips

Marinate halibut in chermoula for 8-12 hours. In heave sauce pan with cover, saute shallots in olive oil for 2 minutes. Add fennel and cook another 3 minutes. Add kale, water, cilantro and fish will all of marinade, preserved lemon and water and bring to low boil. Cover and reduce heat to simmer for 15 minutes or until fish is cooked through. Serve over cooked grains such as rice, couscous or barley. Good next day as well.


Monday, February 8, 2010

Spinach Quesdadillas

There are such a variety of greens available in the market now - different kales, colorful Swiss chards, mustard and beet greens - that sometimes I forget about spinach, the original good-for-you green.

Steamed spinach is still probably my favorite way to prepare spinach since it is such a tender green that you don't want to overcook it. But when I want to dress it up a bit and show it off I make spinach quesadillas. Add some cheese and salt and your favorite salsa and it's a party!

For those of you avoiding wheat there are a nice selection of alternative grain tortillas available from brown rice for those who can't do gluten at all to spelt or sprouted grain ones that reduce the bloating that can accompany eating wheat. I've tried them all and they are all good.

Spinach Quesadillas

4 tortillas
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 lb spinach, steamed and drained

Divide cheese between two tortillas, leaving 1/2 inch border. Evenly distribute spinach between two tortillas, salt and cover each with remaining tortillas. Dry fry each over high heat, cooking each side 4-6 minutes or until the tortilla begins to brown and the cheese is melting. Remove from heat and cut into triangles and eat with cold salsa.


Saturday, February 6, 2010

Winter Vegetable and Barley Saute

My love of vegetables is well known, particularly raw veggies in salads of all types and stripes. But this quick, throw-together saute had me singing in the kitchen, literally. And I do not sing. It really was that good.

And yet so simple. The combined flavors of sauteed red cabbage, fennel, kale, and shallots need to have an aria written for them because the taste is food of the gods. In this version I also added some chopped bacon ends (more fatty than meaty) to serve as the frying oil and then added some cooked barley to up the heft of the dish. I can't say enough great things about this combination so I'll simply leave you with the recipe and hope you enjoy it!

Winter Vegetable and Barley Sautee

1 shallot, sliced thin
1 cup red cabbage, sliced thin
2 cups lacinto (aka tuscan, black, dino) kale, chopped fine
1/2 fennel bulb, sliced thin
2 strips fatty bacon, minced
1 carrot, chopped
1 cup cooked barley

Cook bacon over high heat until it gives up most of its fat. Add shallots, carrots and fennel and saute another 3-5 minutes. Add red cabbage and cook another 3 minutes. (add few teaspoons of water if the veggies start to stick). Add kale and saute until it wilts. Add barley and cook another 3 minutes and season with salt and pepper to taste.


Thursday, February 4, 2010

Fish Soup with Dill and Fennel

As someone who is often happiest when I'm in the kitchen, it always surprises me how much I enjoy coming home to a hot meal already made waiting for me. It reminds me that the joy I get from making food is equal to the pleasure of sitting down to a home cooked meal.

The other night I came home to this spectacularly tasty soup and discovered that the secret to its super taste was an accident: the juice drained from a can of tuna. It gave the soup a lovely complexity without overwhelming it with too much tuna flavor. I had seconds (and secretly thirds later in the night). Pairing dill with the tuna flavor, while not traditional, brought a green lightness to the soup that I loved.

Discovering how humble ingredients can elevate a meal is one of the great pleasures of cooking at home!

Fish Soup with Dill and Fennel

1 lb rock fish (frozen is fine, or any other white fish will probably work)
8-10 scallops
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 stalks celery, roughly chopped
1 onion, chopped
2 carrots, roughly chopped
1 fennel bulb, roughly chopped
1 bottle of clam juice
1 shallot, minced
juice from 15 oz can of tuna in water
2 teaspoons dill

In stock pot sear rock fish in olive oil until it begins to brown. Remove from pot and set aside. Add celery, onion, fennel, carrots, clam juice, tuna juice, shallot and 1 cup of water and bring to boil. Reduce heat and cover and cook until vegetables are just tender. Add fish back to pot, scallops and dill and cook another 3-4 minutes until scallops are cooked through. Season with salt and pepper and serve.


Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Rhubarb Crumble with Creme Fraiche

Rhubarb is one of those foods that I have always associated with cold weather climates. When I lived in Minnesota it seemed like every yard and garden plot had a rhubarb patch, whether you liked it or not. If you're a hater of the plant and a gardener you know how hard it is to get rid of it. But I wondered if I would find any available here in the California southland. Imagine my delight when I came across some in the farmers' market and snatched some up for this delicious treat.

While Rhubarb is most often used in dessert I wasn't sure if it was considered a fruit or a vegetable. Surprise! It is neither but simple the stalk of a plant. I suppose that would make it similar to celery but since you cannot eat the leaves of Rhubarb I suppose that categorization doesn't work. Either way, this is quick and easy and so good.

In case you've never had the opportunity to eat or make creme fraiche you need to do so immediately. There are so many reasons to recommend it that I have to leave you with a list.

1) Creme Fraiche is both tart (the fermentation) and sweet (the heavy cream) so it pairs so well with desserts that need a little creaminess or a little tart to temper the sweet.

2) Since the cream is fermented it's easier to digest.

3) It's better than sour cream since it doesn't separate and cooks like cream while providing some lift to a dish.

4) Making it is so easy and fun to make (great for introducing kids to DIY) since it is something of a chemistry experiment watching the fermentation process.

Creme Fraiche
Combine 2 tablespoons buttermilk with 1 quart of cream in glass jar with a lid. Set out at room temperature for at least 24 hours. Check after 24 hours to see how thick creme has become. Once it appears that entire liquid has fermented into thickened cream, refrigerate for at least 12 hours. Keep refrigerated.

Rhubarb Crumble with Creme Fraiche

8 stalks rhubarb, cut in 1 inch pieces
1 tablespoon sugar

1 cup oat flour
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
1 stick (1/2 cup) butter
1/2 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut butter into oat flour until fairly well mixed. Add rolled oats, brown sugar, cardamom and salt and continue mixing with your fingertips until butter is evenly distributed and mixture begins to clump. Place rhubarb pieces in bowl and toss with 1 tablespoon of sugar until well coated. Spread in baking pan large enough to accommodate rhubarb in almost single layer. Sprinkle crumble on top and dot with 2 tablespoons of cut up butter. Bake for 40 minutes until top is browned. Allow to rest for 5 minutes and serve with Creme Fraiche, whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.