So many good things are coming to life this spring. For starters, RHUBARB (!) and the new cookbook, Preserving by the Pint by Marisa McClellan!! The stars must have aligned just right so that I could dive into this recipe collection by starting off with our newly grown stalks of spring rhubarb in Marisa’s mustardy rhubarb chutney.
You’ve heard me refer Wayward Spark readers over to Marisa’s indispensable blog, Food in Jars, about a million times. It’s one of those spaces that has great recipes as well as in-depth discussions of canning techniques, safety concerns, and beginner tips. Marisa is a great teacher as well as a great recipe developer, and she’s been sharing everything she knows for five years on her (critically acclaimed!) blog.
I own and love Marisa’s first book, Food in Jars, so I’ve been eagerly awaiting the release of her second book, Preserving by the Pint, to see what else she had up her sleeve. Now that I have it in my hands, I will tell you why you should buy this book:
- It’s super pretty–nice design, nice photos, easy-to-use layout.
- The seasonally-organized recipes show amazing creativity, but they’re not fussy or complicated or full of expensive/hard-to-find ingredients.
- There are tons of resources for folks who have never done any canning before, but there’s also plenty to learn for folks who have done a lot of canning in the past.
- Marisa is a self-employed writer and preservation educator who has been offering up hundreds of recipes and tons of general information FOR FREE on her blog. The only way this model is sustainable in the long run is for us, the content consumers, to occasionally buck up and support content producers with actual dollars. Buying Marisa’s book is one way you can show your appreciation for all she does and to plant the seed for her future endeavors. I know people don’t talk about this a lot, but I think it’s pretty darn important in today’s media landscape.
Marisa is also touring all over the country with book-signing events as well as cooking classes. You can see her full schedule here. She’ll be in Oregon, her old stompin’ grounds, in June, and I am definitely planning on attending one of her events. I gotta say that I am stoked to finally be able to meet her face to face!
There are four rhubarb-centric recipes in the cookbook: Rosemary-Rhubarb Jelly, Rhubarb and Meyer Lemon Marmalade, Oven-Roasted Rhubarb Compote, and Mustardy Rhubarb Chutney. It was not easy to decide which one to try out first, but the chutney sounded unusual but approachable, so I went for it.
If you gave me a spoonful of this stuff with no backstory or other information, I don’t think I’d guess the main ingredient was rhubarb (so if you’re looking for something quintessentially rhubarb-y, I would try one of Marisa’s other recipes first). It is, however, delicious. Sweet, dark, tangy, and spicy with plenty of plumped up mustard seeds for some pleasant crunching. I’d put it in a loose category alongside barbecue sauce. Actually it’s a bit reminiscent of Marisa’s tomato jam. Marisa recommends pairing it with goat cheese and crackers, but I’m dying to try it out on a burger (meat or veggie). We also had dollops of it with rice, dal, cilantro, and corn relish the other night, a combo I really enjoyed.
Mustardy Rhubarb Chutney
yeild: 4-5 half pints1 pound rhubarb, chopped into 1/2″ pieces 1 small onion, minced 3/4 cup dried currants 1 1/2 cup packed, dark brown sugar 1 1/2 cup cider vinegar 3 teaspoons yellow mustard seeds 2 teaspoons fine sea salt 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes or 1/4 teaspoon Aleppo pepper (I had a hard time finding the Aleppo pepper in the original recipe, so I subbed in hot red pepper flakes with great results)
Combine all the ingredients in a wide, nonreactive pot, place it over high heat, and bring the mixture to a boil. Once it bubbles, lower the heat to medium, and simmer gently, stirring regularly until slightly thickened.
As the chutney gets closer to done, make sure to stir it every minute or so to prevent scorching. You’ll know the chutney is finished cooking when you can pull your spoon through the liquid, and the space you’ve created doesn’t fill in immediately.
At this point, you can store the chutney in the refrigerator or can it to make it shelf stable for future use.
To can the chutney, funnel it into prepared, sterilized jars. Wipe the rims, apply the lids and rings, and process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes.
The good folks at Running Press have offered up a copy of Preserving by the Pint for one of you lovely readers. To enter, leave a comment with one of your favorite things to preserve or something new that you’d like to try preserving with a link to the recipe if you have one. You are welcome (encouraged!) to spread the word about this giveaway, but only one entry per person, please. US residents only. Entries are open until Friday, May 2 at 11:59 pm. A winner will be picked at random and announced next Saturday.
The giveaway is now closed. The randomly chosen winner is Brittany, a plum chutney fan.