Saturday, April 30, 2011

Recipe: Rhubarb chutney

I wanted something I could do with rhubarb that didn't have bucketloads of sugar, and that didn't end up being a dessert. The resulting experiment gave us something we call chutney. Whatever the proper name, it goes well on goat cheese and crackers, any other cheese (we've tried many) and crackers, with pork, with lamb, and with Indian dishes. (I served it with something I made that was similar to lamb saag.)

You will need:

6 cups of coarsely chopped cleaned trimmed rhubarb
2 onions chopped into about 1/3-inch dice
1/2 cup golden raisins
1-3 cloves finely chopped garlic, depending on how well you like garlic
2 T finely grated ginger
1/3 cup water
2 T sugar, more or less
2 T balsamic vinegar
2 T tamari soy sauce
2 T mirin
2 T good butter
1-2 carrots (depending on size) chopped in 1/4-inch dice - optional

What you do:

Saute the onion in the butter until the onion is beginning to become translucent. Add the rhubarb, ginger and garlic and optional carrots and saute for about 2 minutes. Don't let the garlic brown. Add the water, raisins and sugar. Let simmer until the rhubarb softens (but stop before it turns to stringy mush). Let this mixture sit until it is no longer very hot. Taste for sweetness and stir in more sugar if you need it. Stir in the vinegar, tamari, and mirin. Taste and adjust seasoning by adding more sugar, vinegar, or tamari. Eat warm or cold; pack leftovers into jars and keep in the fridge. Use lavishly with almost anything savory.

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