Rhubarb, basil and oatmeal slice

Rhubarb, basil and oatmeal slice

Sticky Fingers Green Thumb
Tara Pearce, Tim Hillier

This is basically hand-held rhubarb crumble, which makes me very happy. Stow one away in your pocket for your next wintry stroll, or stay cosy at home and serve them with clotted cream and a generous handful of fruity, torn basil.


Quantity Ingredient
115g unsalted butter
200g soft brown sugar
1 large egg
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
225g plain (all-purpose) flour
1/2 teaspons bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
1/2 teaspoon salt
170g rolled oats
fresh basil leaves, 1 handful, torn

Rhubarb compote

Quantity Ingredient
450g rhubarb stalks, cut into 3 cm pieces
100g caster (superfine) sugar
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Lightly grease and line a 20 cm square cake tin with baking paper.
  2. To make the rhubarb compote, add all the ingredients to a saucepan, cover with a lid and bring to the boil over a medium–high heat. Reduce the heat to low and simmer gently for 15–20 minutes, or until the rhubarb has softened and the mixture is nice and thick. Remove from the heat and set aside.
  3. Beat together the butter and brown sugar in a bowl using a hand-held mixer, or a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg and vanilla followed by the flour, bicarbonate of soda, salt and oats to form a dough.
  4. Press two-thirds of the dough into the base of the prepared tin. Spoon over the rhubarb compote to cover evenly, then crumble over the remaining dough. Bake for 25–30 minutes, or until lightly browned. Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the tin, then cut into slices. Sprinkle over a little torn basil to decorate before serving.

Through the grapevine

  • A common garden tale is that rhubarb leaves contain a substance that will repel insects. Boil the rhubarb leaves in water to produce a colourful home-made insecticide and fight off everyday garden pests.
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