I can't say enough good things about Rhubarb. When it comes into season, I know I must be smiling when I see the gorgeous pink and green stalks at the market. Obviously associated with spring--it also seems to herald the arrival of summer plantings that are soon to come in the 'potager'... if the Rhubarb is here--then it is all getting better from now on.
And from my 'petit potager' ... two strawberries this week.... two. Slightly prematurely picked by the 'petite jardiniere' but a few days on the windowsill and they were ready to eat--and as precious as they were, each split in half to make four servings....none for Petite Fille yet, but for the two garcons and the French Guy.
Rhubarb also reminds me of my Grandma--as many kitchen creations do. She made a fierce Rhubarb pie.... and then after that Rhubarb reminds me of a post-college trip to Scotland with my best friend and staying in a 'hostel' where we had Rhubarb compote on our oatmeal every morning..... I think that is what hooked me on the smell. That luscious aroma that comes from the rising steam of the bubbling Rhubarb --- heaven.
I am sure that I will be making compote, a cake or a tarte.... but to start with... Chutney. I had never made chutney with Rhubarb before... and after tasting this batch, I surely will again!
~ Rhubarb Chutney ~
8 cups of chopped Rhubarb
1 shallot, diced
2 apples, cubed in small pieces
3/4 cup apple juice
Juice and zest from 2 limes
3 tbs. grated fresh ginger root
1 cup chopped dried apricots
2 tbs. whole mustard seed
2 cups raw sugar
2 tsp. salt
In a small amount of oil, lightly saute the shallot until tender. Add the remaining ingredients and cook down until the mixture reaches a compote-like consistency. I save a bit of the zest to add at the end for a little extra zing.
We had the chutney that evening with duck-confit and later in the week with pork chops.... it is most definitely a fabulous alternative to traditional chutney!