This rhubarb chutney is a delicious way to use some of spring's brightest, if less-used crops. It's easy to make, with a wonderful balance of sweet, savory and warm spice flavors. Plus, it's so versatile to use.
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Rhubarb brings back childhood memories for me, almost as much as making Irish brack (fruit loaf) with my grandpa or Christmas pudding with my mum. We had a rhubarb patch at the bottom of the garden where I grew up and it came sprouting through each year, almost like a weed.
Most of our rhubarb went into a classic rhubarb crumble or we had it as stewed rhubarb. These days I sometimes get some for nostalgic reasons, and love it in my strawberry rhubarb crisp, rhubarb fool and rhubarb muffins. But it has many more uses, like this delicious chutney.
This rhubarb chutney is a fantastic balance of sweet and savory flavors. It's a little tart, with a bit of bite from the ginger, but mellowed by the other spices too. It works well with savory foods to add a delicious burst of flavor without much effort.
What's the difference between a jam and a chutney?
Unlike a jam, a chutney uses a blend of vinegar and sugar to preserve the fruit or vegetable, in this case rhubarb. A chutney is much less sweet, if it's even sweet at all - brinjal pickle (Indian eggplant/aubergine chutney) is not at all, for example.
You can flavor rhubarb chutney in various ways, but a blend of warm spices and punchy ginger goes really well, as in this recipe.
Steps to make rhubarb chutney
This comes together in just a few easy steps in no time:
- Cut the rhubarb into approx ⅓-1/2 inch slices.
- Finely dice the onion and mince the ginger.
- Put everything in a wide non-reactive pot and bring to a simmer.
- Simmer for around 10 minutes until the mixture thickens, stirring occasionally.
- Set aside to cool.
How do you thicken the chutney?
The main way to thicken this is by boiling it so that the excess liquid evaporates. How long this takes depends in part on how big a quantity you make, and on the liquid content in the rhubarb.
The liquid content can vary quite a lot and you'll find that while it looks like you don't have much liquid when you start, it becomes more liquid soon after you start cooking. But don't worry, it will reduce. However the more you make, the longer it will take.
Whatever quantity you make, you can speed things up by using a wide pan to get as large a surface area as possible. Also, keep stirring the chutney as it simmers as this helps the liquid to evaporate, though do this gently so that you still have a few chunks of rhubarb in the finished chutney for texture.
How can you use this?
This bright, sweet-tart chutney can add a wonderful burst of flavor to lots of dishes. It goes particularly well with pork, such as in my pork tenderloin with rhubarb chutney, as well as chicken and duck.
It also adds that special something to a sandwich, whether meat or cheese like cheddar. It adds a gourmet touch to grilled cheese without any effort, and is a great way to top simple canapes.
So get creative, and find your favorite way to use rhubarb chutney. Easy, packed with flavor and so adaptable, you'll be using it on everything!
Looking for more savory sauces and spreads? Try these:
- Peach chutney
- Brinjal pickle (Indian eggplant chutney)
- Muhammara (red pepper and walnut spread/dip)
- Plus get more side dishes in the archives.
- 1 ½ cups rhubarb 175g
- ¼ cup onion approx ¼ onion, or 1 shallot
- 1 tsp fresh ginger (finely diced volume)
- ¼ cup sugar 4 tbsp
- 3 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- ½ orange zest ie from ½ orange
- 3 tbsp orange juice (approx ½ orange)
- 2 tbsp raisins or dried tart cherries
- ¼ tsp cinnamon
- ¼ tsp allspice
- Cut the rhubarb into approx ⅓-1/2 inch slices. Finely dice the onion and mince the ginger.
- Put everything in a wide non-reactive pot and bring to a simmer. Simmer for around 10 minutes until the mixture thickens, stirring occasionally (but taking care not to break up all the chunks). The liquid should not immediately close in behind the spatula when you move it through the mixture.
- Set aside to cool. Store on the refrigerator for a day or two until needed, bringing to room temperature to use.
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I first shared the recipe for Rhubarb Chutney on Sunday Supper Movement site where I am a contributor.