Spring Fling: Rhubarb Chutney & More Savory Recipes

by in In Season, May 4, 2011

Rhubarb

We’re teaming up with food and garden bloggers to host Spring Fling 2011, a season-long garden party. In coming weeks, we’ll feature favorite garden-to-table recipes and tips to help you enjoy the bounty, whether you’re harvesting your own goodies or buying them fresh from the market. Recently, we dove into the world of asparagus — today, we’re exploring rhubarb.

Ah, rhubarb. I learned to love this plant’s bright pink stalks at an early age when they sprouted up all over my family’s garden. We ate it all — strawberry-rhubarb pie, rhubarb compote, rhubarb crisp — everything except the savory stuff.

This year, I decided to change that. After all, it is officially a vegetable, even if I’ll always be partial to rhubarb crumble. Here’s are my favorite savory takes on this spring classic.

Rhubarb, Sans (All) the Sugar
My first thought for a savory take on rhubarb: a chutney. But many rhubarb chutney recipes are still packed with sugar,  drowning out the tart flavor I wanted to highlight. The recipe below uses just a little honey, and gets a kick of spice from allspice and fresh ginger.

Quick Rhubarb Chutney
Adapted From Terrance Brennan, Charlyne Mattox and Alex Guarnaschelli

Ingredients:
2 tablespoons canola oil
2 shallots, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon allspice
1 teaspoon grated peeled ginger
4 tablespoons honey
1/4 cup water
1 pound rhubarb stalks, sliced 1/2 inch thick
1 teaspoon red wine vinegar

Directions:
Heat oil in a medium saute pan. Add the shallots, allspice, salt and pepper and cook for 2-3 minutes, or until just softened. Add the ginger and cook 1 minute more.  Add the rhubarb, honey and water to the pan. Cook until the rhubarb is just tender — you don’t want it to fall apart.  Remove fruit heat and stir in red wine vinegar.

Serve atop chicken, pork or salmon, alongside bread or biscuits or paired with sharp white cheddar or Manchego cheese.

More Savory Ways To Serve Rhubarb:

TELL US: Do you go sweet or savory with rhubarb? Shout it out in the comments, or join the coversation on Twitter at #cookingwith.

More Rhubarb Recipes From Family and Friends:

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Comments (1,355)

  1. Dawn says:

    Love the idea of using rhubarb in savory cooking. Must try! One of my family's favorite rhubarb recipes is a shortcake with fresh rosemary, rhubarb and strawberries: http://wickedgooddinner.blogspot.com/2010/03/rhub

  2. I usually go sweet with rhubarb, but not too sweet. With strawberries it can be a little too sweet – I like to enjoy rhubarb on its own terms. I made these easy rhubarb crepes a couple weeks ago that are a great way to enjoy it:
    http://www.quincesandthepea.com/sunday-sweets-rhu

    Unfortunately, I can't enjoy it anymore because it's almost impossible to find here in Washington, DC this spring.

    Beautiful pictures!

  3. dejavucook says:

    Very cool. Could not get rhubarb in my neighborhood for two years so I made this Champagne Hibiscus Cocktail that tastes of raspberry and rhubarb for Spring Fling/ see here at http://www.dejavucook.wordpress.com/2011/04/27/champagne...

  4. I have a few stalks of rhubarb hanging out in my crisper – will have to give one of these a whirl. Thanks for the inspiration!

  5. Nicole says:

    Thank you for the inspiration! I tried your chutney recipe (with a few substitutions) and it was delicious. I credited you in my blog post: http://www.liveinart.org/2012/05/gingered-rhubarb…. Thank you!

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