Rhubarb Chutney - A Condiment for All Seasons
When you think of rhubarb, do you think of rhubarb pie? I think of the small farm next to our house where they grew rhubarb every few years, and as kids, we played hide and seek under the big leaves.
Every once in a while, we kids would dare each other to take a bite from the rhubarb stalk and immediately regret it because the flavor was extremely sour.
My mom, who is from Denmark, would make this incredible dessert called Rødgrød Med Fløde which may be the most difficult Danish expression I’ve ever heard. It is a red berry pudding made with cream and Denmark’s unofficial national dessert. I’ll have to make some soon and post the recipe.
Chutney and How It Can Be Used
Chutney is the name of a large family of condiments, and depending on where you are from, they’ll be made with various ingredients. They are prepared with a combination of spices, vegetables, and/or fruits and served with meals to add flavor.
The name chutney comes from the Indian word chatni which means “crushed.” Historically, chutney was prepared with a motor and pestle before every meal because of the lack of refrigeration.
Today, it is made with vinegar or sugar to help preserve it. It is used as a condiment (relish) with curry dishes but also with various types of meat, especially those that are smoked.
It helps balance strong-tasting meats, including lamb or venison but also gives a little kick to mild cheeses like baked brie. Here I’m using rhubarb chutney to give the pork chops a little extra flavor.
Rhubarb Chutney Recipe
- 6 teaspoons olive oil
- 1½ inch piece ginger
- 3 pieces of rhubarb 12 ounces
- 4 tablespoons honey
- 1 lemon
- salt and pepper to taste
Prep the Ingredients
- Peel and mince the ginger, cut the rhubarb into ¾ inch pieces, peel the lemon with a vegetable peeler, then quarter the lemon.
- Finely mince the lemon peels.
Prepare the Chutney
- Heat a small saucepan until hot, and add four teaspoons of olive oil. When the oil is hot but not smoking, add the ginger and cook for 1-minute, frequently stirring until it softens.
- Add the rhubarb, honey, lemon zest, and the juice from the lemon, careful not to let any seeds get into the sauce. I like to squeeze the lemon into my hand, letting the juice go between my fingers, not the seeds.
- Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook until the rhubarb breaks up and the sauce starts to thicken. You’ll be surprised how quickly the rhubarb breaks down once it gets going. You’ll be stirring, and suddenly, you have sauce. This should take about 15 minutes.
- Remove the sauce from the heat and add the additional two teaspoons of olive oil.
- Taste and adjust the seasonings with salt and pepper. Your rhubarb chutney is ready to serve with pork, chicken, turkey, or fish.
Betsy @ Desserts Required
I have never baked or cooked with rhubarb but have to change this…soon! This chutney looks divine! I, also, look forward to your post of Denmark's unofficial dessert!!
G. Stephen Jones
Thanks Betsy, I'll try to let you know when I make some.
I can imagine how good this would taste on pork! Yum, Gary. And like Betsy, I'm intrigued by the "red berry pudding." Sounds like something I'd love. =)