Is rhubarb a fruit or a vegetable? I’ve always considered it a fruit, as it’s used in tarts, cakes and compotes, never served as a veggie to my knowledge (and please correct me if I’m wrong). But I just checked on Wikipedia and guess what? It’s a vegetable in botanical terms — even though a court in the United States ruled in 1947 that it was a fruit! That was for international trade purposes, as fruits had lower import tariffs. Whatever it is, rhubarb poking up in my garden is one of the first and most welcome signs of spring. I use it a lot, and usually in the form of a dessert so quick to assemble that my daughter has been making it since the age of 10. Of course I am referring to rhubarb crumble.
Crumble à la rhubarbe / Rhubarb crumble
This is also the dessert with which I inaugurate my collaboration with foodette.fr, a Paris site that allows clients to buy a basket of goodies and recipes for making a dinner without having to shop for the ingredients. Their menu this week consists of dishes that may look familiar to regular followers of The Everyday French Chef: spinach salad with strawberries and pine nuts, poultry breasts with honey and thyme, braised asparagus and this rhubarb crumble. I’m very happy about this development. It’s the kind of initiative — smart, easy and fun — that wouldn’t have been possible in the pre-Internet age. If anyone among you buys the Foodette basket and makes the dishes, please let the rest of us know how it turns out. And in the meantime, happy cooking!