I have discovered after two years that when I get an idea about preserving in my mind, I can’t shake it until I have pickled or canned or preserved whatever it is I have in mind. I had a big pile of rhubarb and I wanted to make pickles, but then I came across a recipe for rhubarb mint chutney that I really wanted to try.
A half an hour before my husband and I were scheduled to leave for a weekend where he would be working and and I would be lounging, I was taking this rhubarb chutney out of the water bath. I had a jar that wasn’t quite full enough to preserve safely, so I took it with me to try out with my friends. It turned out to be a beautiful jewel pink colour and I loved the tart flavour of it on top of crostini. I didn’t use nearly as much mint as the recipe called for, but a sprig of fresh mint on top makes up for it. You can also serve it with grilled meats, such as lamb chops or chicken.
If I told you that the morning we were leaving for our trip I marinated two flank steaks, made strawberry bread, packed and cleaned up so the place would be vaguely tidy when we returned, plus made these preserves, would you believe me when I said it was really easy?
If you are new to preserving, or you want a bit of a refresher course, just check out the posts I did when I first starting posting on Preserving the Harvest. I should say that I didn’t cut the rhubarb nearly as finely as the recipe suggests, and it worked out just fine. I also didn’t have any orange rind, so I skipped that. Don’t skimp on the amount of vinegar or sugar though, because you want it to be preserved safely.
|1 1/2 lbs||rhubarb|
|1 1/2 tsp||whole cloves, lightly crushed|
|1 tbsp||olive oil|
|2||onions, coarsely chopped|
|4||red plums, pitted and cut into large chunks|
|1 tbsp||plus 1 tsp orange zest|
|1/2 cup||white wine vinegar|
|1/4 cup||plus 2 tbsp sugar|
|salt and freshly ground pepper|
|1/2 cup||coarsely chopped fresh mint|
- Trim the ends of the rhubarb stalks and cut the stalks lengthwise into quarters, then crosswise into matchstick-size lengths.
- Place the cloves on a square of cheesecloth. Bring the corners together and tie securely with kitchen string. In a large nonreactive saucepan over medium heat, heat the olive oil. Add the cloves, onions, plums and orange zest and saute until the onions are tender, about 10 minutes. Add the rhubarb, vinegar, sugar, 1/4 tsp salt and 1 1/2 tsp pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until the rhubarb is tender, about 10 minutes. Stir in the mint. Taste and adjust the seasoning.
- Ladle the hot chutney into the jars, leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Remove any air bubbles and adjust the headspace, if necessary. Wipe the rims clean, place the lids on and seal fingertip tightly with the rims.
- Process the jars for 10 minutes in a boiling water bath.