Faux Rhubarb Crisp, or what to do with leftover beet stems

RhubarbNot too long ago, I had a hankering for some roasted beets.  Bill brought home a bunch of 3, including some really great greens.  I’ve had Swiss chard greens before, and know they’re basically beets without the root, so I was happy with his find.  The greens were such an amazing texture and taste, they were the star of the meal.

pieSo, last week, Bill’s first week of retirement (woo hoo!), we went to the store together and I grabbed a bunch of beets.  Only this time, the greens had been cut off.  Fortunately, there was Swiss chard to be had, so those were our greens for dinner.  As I was cleaning the beets and chard, I was left with a whole lot of really nice stems.  They really reminded me of rhubarb, so I cut them into short pieces, and bagged them up while I worked on dinner and an idea for their later use.

I told Bill I was thinking about making rhubarb pie with those chopped stems, and he looked at me kinda funny, but said, “okay”.  As I usually do when I have an idea, I went to the internet to see if anyone else had thought of it before.  I found a recipe on cooks.com for strawberry rhubarb pie, and went with that.  Besides the chart and beet stems, I also had some kiwi fruit from our vines that really needed to be used up.  So here’s what I did:

Cooks.com                                                        Kim’s Faux Recipe

1 qt. strawberries, each cut in half                     8-9 kiwi fruit, peeled and quartered

1 lb. rhubarb cut into 1/2 inch pieces                 Handful of chard and beet stems cut into 1/2 inch pieces

1 1/4 c. sugar                                                     1 c. brown sugar plus 1/2 c. agave nectar

1/3 c. flour                                                          1/3 c. almond flour

Pastry for 2-crust pie                                          Brown sugar and corn flake crumbs for crumble topping

3 tbsp. tapioca                                                    3 tbsp. small tapioca pearls

1/2 tsp. vanilla                                                    1/2 tsp. vanilla

Combine fruits with sugar, flour and tapioca.  Add vanilla.  Let stand about 30 minutes to soften tapioca.  Stir occasionally.  (I didn’t do this: spoon filling into lower crust of pie pastry, dot with 1 tbsp. butter, top with crust.)  I did do this: bake mixture in 425 degree oven in an 8-inch square baking dish for 30 minutes, add topping and bake an additional 15 minutes until browned.  Cool about 2 hours.

I thought it was a little sweet, but that can be adjusted.  Bill LOVED it!  He was surprised how great it was.  I’m happy to have found a yummy way to use those lovely stems.  I just couldn’t see them going to waste!  Enjoy!

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