Strawberry Rhubarb Parfaits with Almond-Quinoa Streusel

Rhubarb trifles quinoaTrifles and parfaits are a great way to show off the season’s best fruit. I like to assemble them in little glasses, so the layers are visible and the servings aren’t too large. They can be as simple as fruit and cream, but I often add a little crunchy texture, such as crumbled meringue or a sprinkle of streusel. In this recipe, I’ve made an almond and toasted quinoa streusel. The nuttiness of the quinoa is a great match for the tart rhubarb.

Strawberry Rhubarb Parfaits with Almond-Quinoa Streusel

This recipe makes about 6 large servings or 12 small servings, depending on the size of your glasses.

Rhubarb Compote:
1 1/2 pounds rhubarb, ends trimmed, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
2/3 cup sugar, or to taste
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
Pinch of ground cinnamon

Almond-Quinoa Streusel:
1/2 cup red quinoa, rinsed
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1/4 cup shaved coconut
3 tablespoons maple syrup
1 tablespoon canola oil
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pinch of salt

Whipped Cream:
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 pound fresh strawberries, quartered

Make the compote:
Combine all of the ingredients in a medium saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until the sugar dissolves and the rhubarb releases its juices. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until the rhubarb softens and the compote is slightly thickened, about 20 minutes. Cool and refrigerate until use.

Make the streusel:
Preheat the oven to 300°F. Toast the quinoa in an ovenproof skillet over medium heat for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat and stir in the almonds and coconut.
Whisk the syrup, oil, vanilla, cinnamon, and salt in a small bowl. Pour over the quinoa and stir to combine. Spread the streusel in the pan and transfer to the oven. Bake until deep golden brown, about 25 minutes. Remove and cool.

Whip the cream:
Combine the cream, sugar, and vanilla ingredients in the bowl of an electric mixer. Beat on high speed until soft peaks form.

Spoon a layer of rhubarb into serving glasses. Top with cream. Add a layer of strawberries over the cream and top with more cream. Garnish with the streusel. Serve immediately or refrigerate for up to 1 hour before serving.


Yogurt Parfaits with Rhubarb Compote and Almond Granola

Yogurt Parfaits with Rhubarb Compote and Almond Granola

~ Rhubarb Compote, Almond Granola, Greek Yogurt ~

Every morning I remind my kids to eat breakfast – and then I don’t eat one myself. I confess that a strong cappuccino is enough to propel me out the door each day, when I know – I know – it’s not smart. How to change my ways and correct this parental double standard? Well, if I had the fixings for this yogurt parfait in my refrigerator each morning, you can bet I would eat it. The good news is  the compote and granola are easy to make in large quantities ahead of time. So no excuses. Eat your breakfast.

Yogurt Parfaits with Rhubarb Compote and Almond Granola

This is delicious for breakfast, lunch or a snack. Feel free to double the quantities so you have extra on hand for breakfasts during the week.

For the Rhubarb Compote:
Makes about 2 cups

2 pounds rhubarb stalks, ends trimmed, cut in 1/2-inch pieces
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon almond extract

For the Almond Granola:
Makes about 4 cups

2 cups oats
1 cup almonds, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup unsweetened coconut
1/4 cup wheat germ
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup grapeseed oil
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons maple syrup
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup raisins

Greek-style yogurt

Prepare the compote:
Combine all of the ingredients in a large saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring, until the sugar dissolves and the rhubarb begins to release its juice. Simmer, partially covered, until rhubarb is soft, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat and cool completely. Compote may be made up to 3 days in advance. Cover and refrigerate until use.

Prepare the granola:
Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Preheat oven to 300 F (150 C). Toss the oats, almonds, coconut, wheat germ, cinnamon and salt together in a large bowl. Whisk oil, honey, maple syrup, brown sugar and vanilla together in a small saucepan over medium-low heat until sugar dissolves. Add to the oats and toss to thoroughly coat. Spread the granola on the baking pan. Bake until toasted golden brown, jiggling the pan once or twice, about 30 minutes. Remove and cool. Transfer to a bowl and toss with the raisins. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to one week.

To assemble the parfaits, spoon alternating layers of yogurt, compote and granola in a glass, finishing with a topping of granola.

Strawberry and Mascarpone Cream Parfait with Balsamic Syrup

Strawberry and Mascarpone Cream Parfait with Balsamic Syrup

Strawberry Mascarpone

It is strawberry season in our part of the world. The supermarkets and open air markets are displaying piles of luscious red strawberries, sweet and ripe, ready for eating.  Before we moved here, our home was in Denmark, which would be considered (very) northern Europe.  Summer is brief, and sunshine is not guaranteed.  At this time, strawberries would be available, but were imported from France or Spain, as the Danish spring would still be in its early stages. Danish strawberry season is fleeting – primarily for the month of June – and for that one month we would gorge ourselves on strawberries. We would pick our own at the nearby organic farm, or stop at roadside rest areas where people would sell their garden harvests from backs of pick-up trucks and car trunks. While driving on country backroads, at the end of long rural driveways, we would find lone tables perched under tilted garden umbrellas shielding cardboard boxes of just-picked strawberries from the fickle Danish sun. We would select our strawberries and pay our money into an unmanned cash box – all transactions done on the honor system, of course.

For this one month (if we were lucky, and it wasn’t a rainy season) we would stuff ourselves with strawberries. We would eat them plain and with cream, in trifles and pavlovas, in fruit soups and salads. When we gave up because we couldn’t eat them as fast as they arrived, we would freeze them for later in the year, as a tease and a whisper of our summer past.  And, finally, when we began to think that we couldn’t possibly eat another strawberry, the season would be finished.  Another fruit would replace it as the star of the show, strawberries would shift to the background and fade to a memory of summertime.  Until the next year.


This is a dessert I’ve prepared for dinner parties. It is more Italian in inspiration, easy to prepare and always a success, especially when prepared for my Danish family and friends who were weary of their more traditional Danish recipes:

Strawberry and Mascarpone Cream Parfaits with Balsamic Syrup and Mint
Serves 6-8

1/2 cup (80 ml.) balsamic vinegar
4 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

8 oz. (250 g.) chilled mascarpone cheese
2 cups (500 ml.) whipping cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 lbs. (1 kg.) strawberries, hulled and halved

6-8 whole strawberries
Fresh mint leaves
Lemon zest

Prepare the Balsamic Syrup:
Combine vinegar, 1 tablespoon sugar and lemon juice in small saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring until sugar dissolves. Boil until syrup is reduced by half, about 4 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl and cool completely. (Syrup can be made one day in advance. Cover and refrigerate.)

Prepare the Mascarpone Whipped Cream:
In a mixing bowl combine mascarpone cheese, whipping cream, 2 tablespoons sugar and vanilla. Beat until soft peaks form. Cover and refrigerate up to 4 hours.

30 minutes before serving, combine strawberries and balsamic syrup in a bowl. Add 1 tablespoon sugar. Toss gently to combine. Let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes.

Divide half the strawberries among 8 glass goblets. Spoon half the cream mixture over the strawberries. Top cream mixture with remaining strawberries. Top with cream mixture. Drizzle with any remaining syrup.

Garnish with whole strawberries, grated lemon zest and mint leaves.