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Waltham Fields Community Farm (incorporated as Community Farms Outreach, Inc.) is a nonprofit farming organization focusing on sustainable food production, fresh food assistance, and on-farm education. For more information about Waltham Fields check out our website!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Rhubarb Chutney

When I hear "rhubarb," a little voice inside of my head always follows with "strawberries!" For the greater part of my life, rhubarb found its way into my belly via one route only: strawberry rhubarb pie. Delicious as it may be, I wanted to try something a little different this rhubarb season, maybe even something beyond the realm of dessert fare. Then along came this recipe for a spiced rhubarb chutney. Though I'm sure it works fabulously as a glaze for pork (I'm thinking chops or ribs) or salmon, it makes for a wonderful last-minute appetizer; add goat cheese, nuts, and toasted baguette slices to the equation and POOF! You've got yourself a delicious hors d'oeuvre. Just don't forget the plate and utensils, if you feel like being fancy about it.

Rhubarb Chutney

(makes 3 half pints)

  • 4 cups sliced rhubarb
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 3/4 cup raisins
  • 2 cups brown sugar (I used maple syrup & white sugar)
  • 1 1/2 cups apple cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoons ginger (I used freshly grated)
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard seed
  • 1/4 teaspoon hot pepper flakes (optional)


Combine all ingredients in a heavy pot (do not use cast iron as the vinegar will strip your seasoning; enamel-lined dutch oven works well) and bring to a boil. Turn down heat and simmer gently until slightly thickened (45 minutes is suggested but decrease simmering time if you want to maintain some rhubarb shape and texture). Be sure to stir frequently as to avoid sticking and scorching. When you are satisfied with the texture, pour into clean pint jars.

If canning, process in a hot water bath for 10 minutes.

My Two Cents:

I did not can my batch nor had brown sugar on hand, so I substituted with a combination of pure maple syrup and white sugar. If you are canning this recipe but want to replace the refined sugar with something like maple syrup or honey, be sure to check with your local extension office first to ensure food safety! From what I've read, mild-flavored honey can safely replace up to half and maple syrup up to a quarter of the sugar called for in a canning recipe. I love using agave nectar whenever possible, but I am not aware of any recommendations on using it as a refined sugar substitute for canning.


Recipe from The New York Times Heritage Cook Book (page 547) by Jean Hewitt via Food in Jars. Images by Rebekah Carter (2011).


Hannah said...

My neighbor made this last week and it's sooooooooooo delicious!!! Thanks for posting it.

Larisa said...

This was so good! Thanks for letting us taste it. :) About how much maple syrup did you use to replace the sugar?

Staff Contributor said...

Hi Larisa,

Glad you got to enjoy some between working the fields :)

Since I wasn't canning the recipe and I have A TON of MA maple syrup from a coworker whose family owns a sugar house, I did about 2 cups maple syrup and 1 cup white sugar (remember I only made HALF of the original recipe). Technically, I did less sugar (about a half cup) than called for, and it was still very sweet if you ask me!