Living with cold winters, the June opening of our local farmers’ markets comes with much excitement. The joy of filling my basket with fresh greens and beets and scapes and scallions makes me heady with anticipation for the delicious meals to come. So arriving home from the Saturday market to learn that dinner with visiting friends was cancelled was a disappointment. What to do with the two pounds of fresh rhubarb I just bought for dessert? After a bit of internal discussion and outward research, Rhubarb Chutney with Apples, Dates & Ginger became a recipe whose time had come.
Complex flavor from pops of whole spices, red wine vinegar, piquant ginger, sweet dates and raisins and tart and sassy crimson stalks of rhubarb. That’s what this chunky rhubarb chutney’s all about. So boldly flavored, it’s a natural accompaniment to sharp cheddar or a log of creamy, fresh goat cheese. Really, Rhubarb Chutney adds spice and sparkle to everything from Indian curries (of course), to sandwiches and toast, to grain salads and poultry, to a spoonful of yogurt.
Crimson stalks of rhubarb
Rhubarb when raw is so tough
And its leaves contain poisonous stuff.
But when cleaned and de-soiled
Tossed with honey and boiled
The crimson stalks are quite tasty enough.*
*adapted from a limerick by PeterW@lims.demon.uk
“Tasty enough” and healthy, too. One cup of cooked, high fiber rhubarb contains as much calcium as a cup of milk. Plus, high levels of vitamins K, C, A, and the B-vitamins along with iron, potassium and manganese. I had no idea. I think I’ll buy some more rhubarb and make another batch.
Can a batch of this easy-to-make recipe for Rhubarb Chutney and you’ll enjoy rhubarb’s benefits throughout the year. Click here for instructions on how easy it is to can jams and jellies and chutneys, too.
Alternatively, you can freeze the Rhubarb Chutney in a number of containers. Once frozen, its flavor will last a good six months or even more.
Either way, Rhubarb Chutney with Apples, Dates and Ginger makes great eating, and great gifting.
Easy to make recipe for Rhubarb Chutney adds spice and sparkle to everything from Indian curries (of course), to sandwiches and toast, to grain salads and poultry, to aged and fresh cheeses, to a spoonful of yogurt.
Makes 10 cups Printer-Friendly Recipe
Active Time 1 hour
Total Time 2 hours
1 ¼ cups red wine vinegar
2 bay leaves
2 teaspoons fennel seeds, lightly crushed
2 teaspoons coriander seeds, lightly crushed
1 cinnamon stick
2 teaspoons salt
½ pound shallots or red or white onions, thinly sliced
2 ounces fresh ginger, peeled, minced (1/3 cup)
1 pound apples, peeled, ¼ inch diced (2 ½ cups)
1 tbsp yellow mustard seeds
½ teaspoon Aleppo pepper flakes or other red pepper flakes
1 ½ cups Medjool dates, pitted, 1/3 inch diced
1 1/3 cups raisins, golden or regular
¾ cup light honey
2 pounds rhubarb, sliced into ¾-inch chunks
- In a small saucepan, combine the vinegar, bay leaves, coriander and fennel seeds, cinnamon stick and salt. Bring to a simmer. Cover the pan and remove it from the heat. Let the mixture sit for 15 minutes for its flavors to develop.
- Put the thinly sliced shallots or onions in a large pan along with the minced ginger, mustard seeds, pepper flakes and vinegar mixture. Bring to a boil. Lower the heat, cover the pan and simmer for 10 minutes.
- Remove the bay leaves. Add the diced apples, dates, raisins and honey. Cover the pan. Simmer for about 10 minutes until the apples are tender.
- Stir in the rhubarb. Cover the pan, simmer for 7 minutes. Uncover the pan and continue to cook another 10 minutes until the chutney has thickened.
- Rhubarb Chutney can be kept in the refrigerator for up to a month.
- Freezing the chutney extends its life to about 6 months.
- Alternatively, spooning the chutney into warm, clean canning jars that you seal and process extends its life to about a year. Click here for canning guidelines and directions.