4.28.10 Seeing Red 2.0

photo by george billard
The rhubarb patch we put in last summer already looks full and happy! I think we can start harvesting from it soon. I didn't want to be precipitous, though, so I came home with an armload of the stuff from the market this weekend. I love rhubarb in combination with strawberries, as a syrup to mix with seltzer, or as a warm compote over ice cream, but I'm trying not to eat too many sweets these days (TRYING) so I thought I'd make a chutney. I adore chutneys, with their wonderfully complex mix of flavors: hot, sour, salty, sweet. It's a perfect storm for your tastebuds. This one combines tart rhubarb with dark brown sugar, cider vinegar, sour cherries and a host of spices and aromatics: cumin, coriander, garlic, hot chiles, ginger and fresh turmeric. Look for this last in an Indian market, or substitute a teaspoon of ground dried turmeric. It has a wonderfully bitter bite and a rich saffron color that will stain everything in sight.
fresh turmeric
Turmeric, sometimes known as Indian saffron, is an excellent anti-inflammatory and good for the digestion, so eat plenty of it if you have aching joints or suffer from IBS or the like.Try this chutney with roast pork, grilled lamb or on a cheese sandwich. It would also be delicious eaten plain by the spoonful while leaning against the kitchen counter, or so I've been told...

Rhubarb Chutney

makes about 5 cups
  • — 6 cups roughly chopped rhubarb
  • — 2 cups dark muscovado sugar
  • — 1 cup cider vinegar
  • — 2 large cloves garlic, minced
  • — 2 medium yellow onions, diced
  • — 3 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
  • — 3 tablespoons diced crystallized ginger
  • — 1/2-3/4 cup dried sour cherries
  • — 2 Fresno peppers, seeded and minced
  • — 2 Serrano peppers, seeded and minced
  • — 2 teaspoons fine sea salt
  • — 2 teaspoons freshly grated turmeric
  • — 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • — 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • — 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

Combine all the ingredients in a large, heavy pot. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then lower the heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until quite thick, about 1 hour. Stir frequently toward the end to avoid scorching. Preserve according to canning instructions, or keep refrigerated in glass jars.

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Your chutney sounds amazing! I also love rhubarb, and ginger, and heat, and color. I'm definitely going to give this a try.
Feeding the Saints (A. C. Parker) on April 29, 2010 at 9:18 am — Reply
Thanks! I think you'll love it...
laura on April 29, 2010 at 9:21 am — Reply
sounds lovely- these are the sort of things i love- when you use the things you know traditionally, and adapt them according to what is available in your area. my aunt makes a peach chutney (instead of mango) since she now lives in DC and not Pakistan- i love it. and i love your rhubarb chutney. x shayma
shayma on May 5, 2010 at 10:43 am — Reply