Though I made these delicious spiced rhubarb pickles with fresh rhubarb from long-ago week four of the Geauga Family Farms CSA, I kept forgetting to take a picture of them so I could post the recipe. We devoured most of them while we were on vacation at Higgins Lake since they make such a delicious, refreshing snack. I enjoyed them most as you see them served here – on some bread or toast (pictured is whole wheat toast) with a smear of goat cheese. These are an absolute explosion of flavor – natural tartness from the rhubarb, a bite of acid from the vinegar, sweetness from the sugar, and an underlying savory, fragrant spice from the mustard and cloves.
Spiced Rhubarb Pickles
Adapted from RhubarbInfo.com
2 cups rhubarb, chopped into 1″ pieces
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup plus 2 tbs. apple cider vinegar
1/2 orange, juice and zest
Large pinch ground ginger
1.5 tsp. yellow mustard seeds
1 small cinnamon stick
1 pint-sized canning jar, unused lids, metal screw bands for canning lids
1 metal collander or canning rack
Mandolin, fitted with “crinkle” blade
Carefully clean the rhubarb stalks, being sure to scrub them so they are physically clean and free from any dirt or debris.
Regardless of whether you are going to store your pickles outside of the refrigerator or inside of the refrigerator, you must sterilize your jar.
Storage inside of refrigerator: Run jar through dishwasher or place in a 200º oven for 10 minutes.
Storage outside of refrigerator: Place empty jars on a metal rack or metal collander in a large pot. Fill pot with warm water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low in order to keep jars hot and ready for canning. Pour boiling water over both lids and rings.
Place vinegar, sugar, juices, and all of the spices in a medium pot and bring to a boil over medium heat. Once sugar as dissolved, add rhubarb. Bring to a boil again. As soon as the vinegar solution boils, use a slotting spoon to start packing sterilized or hot jar with rhubarb. Pack the jar about an inch from the rim with vegetables. Pour hot vinegar solution over the rhubarb to about a half in from the rim. Wipe the rim clean with a paper towel. Place a sterilized lid on the jar and secure with metal screw cap.
If storing in the refrigerator: Transfer to refrigerator. Store about a five days before eating for maximum flavor.
If storing otuside the refrigerator: Transfer the jar to the hot water bath. Water must be about an inch over the top of the jar. Raise heat and boil vigorously for 20-25 minutes. Remove from water and let cool. Once opened, lid should make a “pop” noise if it was properly sealed.