Make Ahead

Hot, sweet, and sour ginger rhubarb

May 20, 2011
3 Ratings
  • Makes 6 four oz. jelly jars
Author Notes

Working with my son I had the chance to put up a few small batches of rhubarb. A few more will follow this weekend. Whether you consider this a sweet pickle or a sour compote, it works incredibly well on a Umami burger recipe with stilton and port; my son found that recipe in June's Food and Wine. —Sagegreen

What You'll Need
  • 6 large stalks of rhubarb (@ 1.25 pounds)
  • 1/3 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup of dark muscovado sugar
  • 1 inch long knob of peeled ginger
  • 1/8 cup yellow raisins
  • 1 tablespoon fresh orange peel
  • zest of one lemon, Meyer preferred
  • 1 small serrano chili pepper (or jalapeno or poblano for less heat)
  • 1/2 sweet onion cut into thin rings, then halved, optional
  • 1 short stalk of lemon grass @4 inches
  • 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons ruby port (or brown ale)
  • small pinch of sea salt
  1. The night before sprinkle half the brown sugar along the rhubarb stalks to help preserve the fruit later in cooking.
  2. The next day cut the rhubarb into 3/4 inch pieces. Add these with all the sugar into a sauce pan. Cut the ginger into tiny chunks. Split the pepper down the middle and remove the seeds. Combine all the ingredients in a pan and bring to a simmer. Cook until the rhubarb is tender, but still in tact. Remove the pepper and lemon grass before proceeding. This batch will be hot enough already.
  3. While hot, ladle into sterilized jelly jars, which you have boiled with lids for at least 10 minutes. Wipe the rims clean. Leave an inch of head room. Seal with two part lids. Let cool. Store in the refrigerator. Use within 1 month (conservatively). Serve with cheese, meat, toast, or even ice cream.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • healthierkitchen
  • Lizthechef
  • susan g
    susan g
  • Sagegreen

10 Reviews

Lisa May 26, 2015
I go the other way 'round - having no access to Manischevitz I use port at our seders! It makes EXCELLENT charoset!
healthierkitchen June 2, 2011
this looks so delicious! If we still have rhubarb at this weekend's market I will give it a try!
Sagegreen June 2, 2011
Thank you, hk. We have been liking this a lot.
Lizthechef May 22, 2011
How did I miss this?! Cannot wait for rhubarb to make it into our markets, always late in Southern CA for some odd reason.
Sagegreen May 22, 2011
Thanks, Liz. This isn't entered into any contest. I have been missing tons of recipes this past month with the call of well, that day job! But this weekend I have unexpected free time with my company now arriving I can cook away!
susan G. May 22, 2011
It's hot off the stove now, and quite a success. My husband says it's better than anything he's had before made of rhubarb. When the rhubarb is gone, I'm going to try steeping onion slices in it. And I don't think it will last long. One jar goes to the rhubarb grower, and the rest ...awaiting onion?
Sagegreen May 22, 2011
Thanks so much for trying this, susan. Isn't it good? I had thought of onions, too. I think they would make a great addition! No need to worry about any canning issues, because it does go so quickly!
Sagegreen May 22, 2011
I mean I think you could add some onions in with the rhubarb, as well as make separate onion ones, too, if you were out of rhubarb.
susan G. May 22, 2011
Confession: no port in the house, used Manischevitz. When you think about it, there's a bond!
Sagegreen May 22, 2011
That substitution sounds great!