A zippy, versatile condiment that’s easy to prepare!
Anyone else feel like their garden is on the verge of becoming a jungle? We’ve had so much rain this summer that when this week’s heatwave hit, I swear I could see the plants growing several inches each day, including the last of the rhubarb left to be harvested. I have always loved the flavour of rhubarb and find it to be a much more versatile fruit (well…technically, it’s a vegetable) than people give it credit for. It seems like everyone cooks it up in pies and jams, but there is so much more you can do with rhubarb. Some of my favourite recipes include Rhubarb Collins, Roasted Beet and Rhubarb Salad, Rhubarb Spritzers and Upside-down mini rhubarb ginger cheesecakes. I had a huge bag of chopped rhubarb in my freezer from last year and decided to transform it into chutney to clear some space for this year’s crop. This condiment is packed with flavour and would be ideal with grilled fish, pork or chicken. I also like to serve it with brie on top of baguette slices or crostini. You can adjust the heat to suit your preferences – I found that seeding just one of the jalapenos gave it a nice little kick that wasn’t too overpowering, but if you like things spicy, don’t seed either of the peppers!
- 1 1/2 cups (375 mL) cider vinegar
- 2 cups (250 mL) packed brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon (5 mL) ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon (5 mL) kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon (5 mL) freshly ground cardamom seeds
- 1 1/2 teaspoons (7.5 mL) ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon (2.5 mL) smoked paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon (2.5 mL) ground cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon (2.5 mL) ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon (2.5 mL) cayenne pepper
- 6 cups (1.5 L) cut fresh or frozen rhubarb, in 1/2 inch pieces (slice thick stalks lengthwise before chopping into pieces)
- 2 medium jalapeno peppers, minced (remove seeds and ribs from one of the peppers before mincing)
- 1 cup (250 mL) golden or Thompson raisins
- 2 teaspoons (10 mL) grated fresh gingerroot (no need to peel it)
- 1 tablespoon (15 mL) minced garlic
- 1 cup (250 mL) chopped yellow onions (about 1 medium)
- In a large, heavy saucepan combine the vinegar, sugar, ground ginger, salt, cardamom, cinnamon, smoked paprika, cloves, black pepper and cayenne. Bring to a boil and stir occasionally until sugar is dissolved.
- Add all the remaining ingredients. Return to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until thick, stirring often, for about 1 hour.
- Fill clean, hot canning jars with hot chutney to within 1/2 inch of the top. Wipe the rims and give the jars a tap on a towel placed on the counter to displace any air bubbles. Add sealer lids.
- Process in a boiling water bath canner for 10 minutes. Note that you don’t need to process if you are going to store the chutney in the refrigerator (for up to 6 months).
Makes about 1 litre (4 cups) of chutney.