The magic of this dish is the trick I most recently discovered from my cooking mentor-from-afar, Mark Bittman. This is the same trick that allowed me to cut the sugar in my favorite crisp recipe from 2 cups to 1/4 cup. Tossing the rhubarb in the juice of a freshly squeezed orange! Freaking brilliant.
Rhubarb Baked Oatmeal
For the oatmeal:
- 2 cups rolled oats
- 1/2 cup walnut pieces, toasted and chopped
- 1/3 cup natural cane sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
- 2 cups milk (I always use non-dairy milk with much success)
- 1 large egg
- 3 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
For the rhubarb:
- About a cup or two diced rhubarb (about 2 large stalks)
- 1/2 of a large orange (or the whole thing - go for it!)
- 2 Tablespoons natural cane sugar
- Place the chopped rhubarb into a medium-size bowl, squeeze the orange over the rhubarb, toss and set aside. Just before assembling the oatmeal, add the tablespoons of sugar and toss.
- Preheat the over to 375°. Generously butter the inside of an 8-inch square baking dish.
- In a bowl, mix together all the oatmeal dry ingredients. In another bowl, lightly beat the egg and add all the wet ingredients, but just half of the melted butter.
- Add the rhubarb to the dish, spreading it evenly around the pan. Top with the dry oatmeal mix. Slowly drizzle the milk mixture over the oatmeal rhubarb layers and tilt the baking dish a bit to get the wet mixture moving around the oatmeal.
- Bake for 35 to 45 minutes, until the top is nicely golden and the oat mixture has set. Remove from the oven and let it cool for a few minutes before digging in. Drizzle the remaining butter over the top and serve or enjoy it on the weekdays for breakfast when you have other things to worry about. Trust me, you'll be glad you have this to look forward to in the mornings.
Adapted from Heidi Swanson