Spring Fling: Rhubarb Chutney & More Savory Recipes

By: Liz Gray
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Rhubarb isolated on a white studio background.

Photo by: Edward Westmacott

Edward Westmacott

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

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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