Sunday, May 29, 2011

Rhubarb Strawberry Cups with Vanilla Scented Yogurt

Featured Ingredient: Rhubarb

The past few years have seen me embrace spring rhubarb with much more enthusiasm. I used to be too fussy to try and deal with rhubarb’s explosive tartness, but I’ve learned that it can be used in so many different savory and sweet dishes with such ambrosial results, that it has become a regular fixture on our spring menu.

Although rhubarb is considered a vegetable botanically related to buckwheat and sorrel, the stalks taste best when handled more like a fruit for things such as compotes, salsas and pies. Nutritionally, rhubarb excels in the antioxidant vitamin C and vitamin K, one of the less heralded bone-building nutrients.

These phyllo cups are a play on rhubarb tarts. They pair up rhubarb and strawberry – a perfect food pair if there was ever one. I think these are better when the filling is warmed and consider any extra a blessing as it can be used in yogurt, cottage cheese or oatmeal. Just pick these up with your hands and embrace the crumbling.

Do you think these are fancy enough for company or do they look a little too rough around the edges?

Rhubarb Strawberry Cups with Vanilla Scented Yogurt

4 sheets phyllo pastry

Oil or melted butter for brushing

1 cup strawberries, quartered

1 cup sliced rhubarb, about 2 stalks

1/3 cup brown-style sugar (I used turbinado)

1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger

1 teaspoon lemon zest

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/3 cup plain yogurt

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350° F. Very carefully place one sheet of phyllo pastry on a work surface and cover the remaining sheets with a damp kitchen towel to keep them moist. Brush oil over the entire surface of the sheet and cover with another sheet of phyllo. Brush with oil and repeat with another 2 phyllo sheets so you have four layers. With the tip of a sharp knife, carefully cut the layered sheets into quarters and slice each of the four squares evenly to form 8 squares. Tuck each phyllo pastry square into a lightly greased muffin cup making sure the bottoms lie flat. Bake until crisp and golden, about 10-12 minutes. Watch them carefully so they don’t burn.

Meanwhile, in a saucepan, combine strawberries, rhubarb, sugar, ginger, lemon zest and cinnamon. Bring to a simmer and cook until rhubarb has softened, about 15 minutes. In a small bowl, whisk together yogurt and vanilla.

Add two spoonfuls of the strawberry rhubarb mixture into each phyllo cup and top with a dollop of vanilla yogurt.

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