Unless you are enjoying that burger and fries with some delicious rhubarb ketchup, that is.
I combined 4 cups of diced rhubarb, 1 1/2 large yellow onions (coarsely chopped), 1 cup white vinegar, 1 cup brown sugar, 1 cup white sugar, 28 oz canned diced tomatoes (including the liquid), 2 teaspoons salt, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, and 1 tablespoon pickling spice tied in cheesecloth. I brought it to a boil and then simmered for 1 hour. After removing the pickling spice, I blended it with an immersion blender until it was velvety smooth.
I wish I could have captured the aroma in my kitchen to share with you; the scent was as rich and warm as the taste! The color and flavor was similar to a classic tomato ketchup, but spicy and tangy and warm. After it had cooled, the cinnamon was especially noticeable, so next time I will probably cut back just a bit, but otherwise I wouldn’t change a thing. The recipe yielded a total of four pints, three of which I processed in half pint jars in a hot water bath for 10 minutes.
I roasted 4 cups of diced rhubarb, 1 large red onion (chopped), and 4 cloves of garlic (chopped) in a foil lined pan at 350 degrees for one hour, stirring the mixture every 15 minutes. I then transferred the roasted vegetables into a large pot and added 4 tablespoons cider vinegar, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, 1/4 cup brown sugar, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon cumin, 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, and 1/8 teaspoon celery seed. I simmered this over low heat for another 15-20 minutes, before pulsing with an immersion blender until smooth.
This ketchup didn’t have that same similarity to tomato ketchup, but it is a tasty condiment none the less. The rosy pink ketchup is both spicy and sweet (I think it will be excellent with pork roast or chicken). I followed City Girl Farming’s lead and used the immersion blender instead of a food mill, but between that and the oven roasting, it did need some extra liquid added back in during the blending. I also increased the amount of onion and garlic the original recipe called for. This recipe yielded about a pint and a half.
I can see both of these condiments having a prominent place in my kitchen repertoire for the foreseeable future, but if I had to pick a favorite, it would have to be Rhubarb Ketchup #1. Rhubarb Ketchup #2 was still very good, but not in the same familiar and classic burger-and-fries way. In fact, this entire week’s menu at our house is planned around burgers, garden potato oven fries, brats, grilled chicken, and a few other excuses to consume rhubarb ketchup. Springtime and grilling season just took on a whole new level of awesomeness.
Stay tuned next week for the final Rhubarb Happy Hour recipe, which will be a perfect companion to any patio-worthy happy hour fare!