(23 January 2014)
Rhubarb is a hardy, prolific addition to the productive garden, providing an extended harvesting season lasting most of the year (the depths of winter are the only time a well-kept plant doesn’t produce stems). It is a fantastic ‘forever plant’, meaning less work for more reward, and it is one whose saggy, store-bought counterparts simply cannot be compared to. Rhubarb can be harvested and used fresh from the garden, or alternatively, preserved and devoured on a cold winter’s night. It also makes for a delicious chutney, lending itself to a wide variety of dishes – I use mine as a base for stir fries and homemade sausage rolls, and I also add it to both fresh and toasted sandwiches. The following is my favourite rhubarb chutney recipe:
1.1 kilograms rhubarb, cut into 2.5cm pieces
2 large oranges
5 1/3 cups brown sugar
4 cups apple cider vinegar
2 cups golden raisins
2 medium onions, chopped and peeled
1 tablespoon wholegrain mustard
12 allspice berries
8 whole black peppercorns
8 juniper berries
1.5 cinnamon sticks
Grate zest from oranges & set aside.
Halve & chop oranges, removing white membranes.
Combine rhubarb, oranges, sugar, vinegar and onions in large cooking pot with spices secured in cheesecloth bag.
Slowly bring ingredients to boil then simmer uncovered until thickened for around 1.5 hours.
Spoon hot chutney into sterilised jars and seal.