June 2, 2016 • Condiments,
There is something special about the start of the summer harvest, and for me, since I don’t grow early crops like strawberries or asparagus, it seems the rhubarb is the first thing that’s ready to be harvested. The thing is I just harvest it all at once, which leaves me wondering what to do with it all. I make something to be eaten now – like the Rhubarb Apple muffins that will be posted next week – but then I try to find a clever way to preserve the harvest beyond just freezing the raw ingredient.Chutneys are versatile, because you can serve them with chicken, pork, beef or fish, as well as a condiment for a cheese platter. This version has a little bit of a kick from the ginger and some chile flakes, and leaves just a mild heat on the finish. My son and his wife have a huge “volunteer” rhubarb plant in their newly landscaped back yard too – I think I might just have to convince them to share it with me so I can make a few more pints of this for holiday gifts!
- 8 cups thinly sliced rhubarb (about 2½ pounds)
- 1¼ cup brown sugar
- ¾ cup honey
- 1 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 cup chopped red onion
- 1 cup dried cranberries
- 2 inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and chopped fine
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- Combine all of the ingredients in a large non-reactive saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Stir and reduce heat to low or simmer and continue cooking until thickened, about 30-45 minutes. Be sure to stir frequently to prevent scorching.
- While the mixture is thickening, prepare 3 pint or 6 half pint jars by sterilizing them.
- When the mixture is thick, either leave chunky or use a stick blender to pulse until you reach the texture you desire (I like mine a bit smoother). Fill the jars to ½ inch below the top, clean the rims, and cover with canning lids and rings. Process in a water bath for 15 minutes and then let cool on the counter. Check to be sure they have fully sealed for storage in the pantry. If any don't seal properly, refrigerate and use within 3 to 4 weeks.