Friday, June 26, 2020

RECIPE: Rhubarb Chutney

Rhubarb.  I rarely use rhubarb because so much sugar is required to make it palatable.  Imagine how excited I was to find a SAVORY recipe for it!  I actually found several rhubarb chutney recipes, and chose the one which had the lowest sugar-to-rhubarb ratio, and the most interesting seasoning. 

The flavor profile of the spice combination is wonderful!  The texture is good, too, because the rhubarb isn't cooked into oblivion.  I made a few changes to the spice preparation, because I wasn't happy with their texture, and I changed the procedure to eliminate the use of one pot.

Rhubarb Chutney
Makes 2.5 cups
  • 1/3 c cider vinegar
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1.5 t. coriander seeds
  • 1 t. fennel seeds
  • 1 3" cinnamon stick
  • 3 T. extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 large shallots, halved lengthwise and then thinly sliced crosswise (1 heaping cup)
  • 1 T. yellow mustard seeds
  • 1/4 t. crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2/3 c. mild honey
  • 3/4 pound rhubarb, trimmed and cut into 1/2 " pieces (about 2.5 cups)
  • 1/2 c. raisins
  • himalayan pink salt and freshly ground black pepper

In a 3-quart pot, over medium heat, toast the coriander and fennel seeds until lightly browned.  Transfer to a small bowl and cool to room temp.  Grind in a mortar an pestle.

In the same pot, combine the vinegar bay leaves, ground coriander and fennel seeds, cinnamon, and 1 t. salt.  Bring to a boil over med-high heat.  Remove from heat, cover the pot, and let sit for 15 minutes for the flavors to develop.  Transfer to a bowl and wipe out the pot.

Heat the oil over medium heat.  Add the shallots, mustard seeds, and red pepper flakes and cook, stirring, until softened, about 5 minutes.

Stir the the honey and the reserved vinegar mixture into the shallots and bring to a simmer.  Cover and simmer for about 5 minutes to combine the flavors.  Remove the bay leaves and the cinnamon stick. 

Add the rhubarb and raisins, and stir to combine.  Cover and cook over low heat, WITHOUT STIRRING, until the rhubarb is tender and starting to fall apart, about 10 minutes.  If you do stir it, you will break up the rhubarb and it will be mush.  DON'T OVER COOK IT! 

Season to taste with salt and black pepper.  Transfer to a serving dish and cool to room temperature.

Serve with bread and cheese, cheese and crackers, salami and crackers, or cheese, salami and crackers!

The chutney will keep, covered and refrigerated, for 2 weeks.  It should not be canned.  There isn't enough sugar or acid to waterbath can it, and pressure canning would completely destroy the texture.

Rhubarb Chutney and Quark Cheese on Sourdough Bread

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