It’s the season for rhubarb.
It’s one of the first things to come through in early spring – especially if you put a cover over the plant and force it (we use an old dustbin inverted over the crown).
It provides very pale, so-called “champagne” pink, spears of rhubarb.
The leaves, which are discarded before cooking, are a complementary acid lime green.
A visual delight.
You can take the cover off after your first couple of harvests and the more mature deep reddish pink stalks can be used in this chutney.
Rhubarb crowns can be split, divided and replanted to make more plants.
It’s said that you should stop picking it when it sends up a great central stem, flowers and produces a giant seed head.
This has got to be my all time favourite chutney. It marries sharp, sweet and sour.
It’s good with curries as an alternative to mango chutney.
It’s from a book called Rhubarbaria. It’s even been translated into French!
Anyway, the author, Mary Prior has collected an eclectic anthology of rhubarb recipe.
She also gives a history of the plant and its uses.
I like making cakes with it – see my previous blog post for Amish Rhubarb Cake.
This chutney has received positive reviews from friends!
- 1 kg rhubarb finely chopped
- 775 g granulated sugar
- 2 cloves garlic finely chopped
- 450 g sultanas
- 25 g salt
- 25 g fresh ginger root bruised with rolling pin or the blade of a flat knife and tied in muslin
- 300 ml malt vinegar
- 2 whole lemons finely chopped, seeds removed
Combine ingredients in a large stainless steel pan and boil for two and a half hours.
Remove ginger in the muslin.
Then pot into hot or warm sterilised jars, cover with a waxed circle and secure the lid or a see through cover with a rubber band.
Label with name and date!