Rhubarb is one of my favorite spring/early summertime things. It's best known mixed with strawberries and while that is super yummy, that's not why it's my favorite. I love it for it's tartness that can be made into something either savory or sweet. This unassuming stalk can be used to bring an unexpected zing to just about anything, and since it's harvest season is so short I find myself eating it with nearly everything this time of year.
This year, I decided to see if I could find a way to enjoy rhubarb for longer than it's short harvest season. What I came up with is this recipe for rhubarb chutney. If you haven't heard of a chutney, it is a sweet-and-sour condiment that originated in Indian, Chinese and Indochinese cuisine. It is usually eaten cold and can be spicy, although I didn't add any spice to the recipe below (but you can feel free to add some curry or chili which I think would be really good). The end result is a tangy, slightly sweetened condiment that would taste amazing on meat (especially pork), but the possibilities are really endless! I had mine on top of savory oat pancakes with fresh chevre and it was really, really good.
2 lbs. rhubarb
3/4 lb onion
2 tbsp salt
1 cup apple cider vinegar
the juice of one lemon
1 tbsp blackstrap molasses
1 tbsp honey (or more, to taste)
Wash and chop the rhubarb and onions. Put them in a large crock-pot (or saucepan on the stove), along with the salt, cover and cook over very low heat. Stir occasionally. When this mixture is soft and well blended, add the rest of the ingredients and continue to cook uncovered until the mixture reaches the desired consistency (the longer you cook, the thicker it will be). Total cooking time should be around 3 hours. When the chutney is ready, either can it properly or spoon it into a jar with a lid, let cool and store in the refrigerator. Serve as a side or a topping for grains, potatoes, salads or meats.
I hope this inspires you to try something new with your rhubarb, and please make sure to let me know if you try my chutney recipe!