Honestly, I used to be a little afraid of cooking with rhubarb. In my brain, I had filed it away along with gooseberries. All because of one bad childhood experience: a crumble that was short of sugar, which sent acidic tartness shooting through my back-teeth and up to my eyeballs. I decided there and then that it was over between me and rhubarb. I’d broken up with it before we’d even had a second date.
It was only when David requested Rhubarb chutney to go with our Christmas cheeseboard that I brought rhubarb out of the dog-house and gave the relationship another shot. I guess it had a long time to think about what it had done, because during the whole rhubarb chutney experience – it behaved like the perfect gentlemen. In fact, I’d even go as far as saying that I can see a prosperous future together. Maybe even for the long-haul.
RECIPE: Rhubarb & Cranberry Chutney
FLAVOUR PROFILE: Beautiful balanced with sweet and tangy festive notes and pops of ginger and clementine.
GOES GREAT WITH: Ideal for your cheeseboard, this goes well with both hard and soft cheese. Also great in sandwiches!
NOTES: The rhubarb will break down during the cooking process, if you want a more jammy consistency (like I’ve got in the picture above), then chop the rhubarb small. If you’d prefer a chunkier chutney, keep the rhubarb fairly large.
MAKES: 2 x 300ml jars
- 1 tbsp. OIL
- 1 RED ONION, finely diced
- ½ tsp. YELLOW MUSTARD SEEDS
- ¼ tsp. DRIED CHILLI FLAKES
- ½ tsp. GROUND CLOVES
- 1 tsp. FRESH GINGER, finely grated
- 400g (14oz) RHUBARB, diced
- 80g (2.8oz) DRIED CRANBERRIES
- 1 CLEMENTINE, zested and juiced
- ½ tsp. GROUND CARDAMOM
- 1 tsp. SALT
- 270g (9.5oz) BROWN SUGAR
- 200g (7oz) CIDER VINEGAR
- Heat the OIL in a large heavy-bottomed saucepan over a medium-high heat and add the ONIONS. Cook for a few minutes until they start becoming translucent. Then add the YELLOW MUSTARD SEEDS, DRIED CHILLI FLAKES, GROUND CLOVES and FRESH GINGER. Cook for a further 2 minutes until you can smell the spices and the ginger loses its raw edge.
- Add the rest of the ingredients to the pan: RHUBARB, DRIED CRANBERRIES, CLEMENTINE ZEST AND JUICE, GROUND CARDAMOM, SALT, BROWN SUGAR and CIDER VINEGAR. Give the mixture a good stir. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and leave it to simmer for 45 minutes – 1 hour.
- It is ready when it is reduced, and lovely and thick. Decant into warm sterilised jars and seal immediately. Leave in a cool dark place to mature for at least a month. Enjoy!