Rhubarb Chutney

The rhubarb harvest has begun, and with it, come some recipes for this old-time spring tonic! This chutney is a quick and simple way of enjoying rhubarb with a main course. This recipe does not contain added sugar, but a bit of sugar or other sweetener can be added if desired. However, the longer you cook it, the sweeter it gets!

150426 first rhubarb

If you're lucky enough to have rhubarb at your place, pull several stalks for this recipe. Discard the leaves and lower parts of the stems before proceeding with the recipe.


2 cups chopped rhubarb

1 apple, peeled, grated or diced

1 small onion, diced

1 Tbsp butter

1-2 Tbsp raisins (chopped, if they are large)

2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar or kombucha

generous sprinkling of sea salt

few grinds of black pepper

1/4 tsp dry mustard

Optional add-ins:

1/4 tsp cumin

1/8 tsp (or less) cayenne pepper

2-3 Tbsp chopped nuts (such as walnuts or almonds)

a couple Tbsp frozen cranberries to get a darker red chutney

150426 rhubarb apple


1. Melt the butter over medium heat in a small sauce pan. When it is hot, add the onion and cook for about a minute.

2. Add all the rest of the ingredients to the pan. Cover with a lid and let simmer for 5+ minutes. Stir occasionally. Liquid will be released from the rhubarb and apple, so it shouldn't need any additional liquid. However, if the mixture starts to stick on the bottom of the pan, lower the heat and add 1 Tbsp water.

3. Taste (carefully - it's hot!) and sweeten it, if desired. Add 1-2 Tbsp brown sugar or maple syrup, or 2 tsp molasses.

4. For a smoother, sweeter chutney, cook it for a few minutes longer. Remove from heat and let it cool for a few minutes before serving.

This will keep for up to a week in the fridge.

150426 rhubarb chutney and vegServe with...

  • beef, pork, chicken, turkey, duck or goose
  • generously baste on grilled or roasted meats (brush it on during the last 20-25% of the cooking time)
  • great with meat & rice dishes
  • crackers and cheese (and thin slices of sweet onion)