Our rhubarb patch looks spectacular this year and Sunday I finally got around to doing some rhubarb cookin'. I made two recipes from The Complete Book of Year-Round Small-Batch Preserving: Rhubarb-Ginger Chutney and Gingered Rhubarb Jam with Honey. Unfortunately, I was not impressed with either finished product. The chutney may improve with age and will be fine with pork, but my immediate impression was that it lacked the sweet and sour contrast of a good chutney. The jam is far too sweet for my taste--the honey completely overwhelms the rhubarb and ginger. The kids will love it, though, and the nice thing about making small batches is that we're not stuck with eating tons of something we don't like.
Fortunately, I did manage to make one fantastic rhubarb recipe, which I found at The Rhubarb Compendium, which truly has everything you ever wanted to know about growing, cooking, and even cleaning, with the first of spring's fruity ruby beauties. Continuing with the rhubarb-ginger theme, I made Gingered Rhubarb Apple Crisp, replacing two of the apples with some firm Washington pears I picked up at the market Saturday (which had me wondering just how do they keep those apples and pears so fresh for so long). Well, this was just absolutely one of the best desserts I've ever made. The ginger and rhubarb combination is amazing and the crystalline oatmeal topping added just the right contrast to the soft fruit. We had the crisp for dessert Sunday evening and by lunchtime on Monday, there was only one piece left. I'm looking forward to making it again later this week.
So, we still have more rhubarb to harvest. What else might we try to do with it? Freezing is out, as we're getting our quarter of grassfed Oregon beef on Saturday (!!!) and I'm determined not to add anything to the freezer. Anyone have a good rhubarb jam recipe that shows off its tartness rather than masks it with sugar or honey?