14 September 2014

Spring Rhubarb Relish

We recently started getting a small Abel & Cole fruit and veg box delivered every week and although there are some things I've banned from the box one of the reasons I wanted to try out the delivery system was to widen my knowledge of how to actually use the fruit and veg that I'm not so keen on. This was put to the test a few weeks ago as I hovered next to the bin with the rhubarb that I hated, the baby I knew wouldn't touch and there was no point putting in a pudding for my away-with-work husband. There's got to be something I can do with this, I thought. And there was.

I like any excuse to get out my Preserves book and it didn't disappoint with my rhubarb problem. Really easy to make and Joe loves it this relish is perfect with cheeses, quiches and pork pies and makes a really nice change from more traditional chutneys.

Spring Rhubarb Relish

Makes about 4 x 340g jars

500g granulated sugar
100ml cider vinegar
1kg rhubarb (untrimmed weight)
125g raisins

For the spice bag:
50g fresh root ginger, bruised
2 cinnamon sticks, snapped in half
6 cloves

You will need a spice bag or 20cm square of muslin, a preserving pan and some jars.

1. First make the spice bag by tying up the bruised ginger , Cinnamon sticks and cloves in a 20cm square of muslin (or a pre-made spice bag).

2. Put the sugar, vinegar , 100ml water and the spice bag into a preserving pan. Heat gently to dissolve the sugar and allow the spices to release their flavours into the syrup. Remove from the heat and set aside to infuse for about 20 minutes.

3. While it's infusing, trim and wipe the rhubarb stalks and chop into 2-2.5cm chunks.

4. Add the rhubarb and raisins to the spiced syrup. Cook gently for 15-20 minutes until the mixture is thick, but the rhubarb is still discernible as soft chunks.

5. Remove from the heat and pour into warm, sterlised jars and seal with vinegar proof lids.

Use within 12 months.

Rhubarb relish does not photograph well...

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