Last year, I hired some landscapers to take care of one of my most-hated home tasks: yard maintenance. When they had completed the first yard cleanup, I came home to see how lovely and trim everything was. But wait a minute – something was missing!
It turned out I hadn’t informed them that I wanted to keep my rhubarb and tomato plants, and in their quest to do a thorough job, they had removed them from their carefully-appointed posts beside my house. If you’re thinking what I’m thinking (“Who wouldn’t want to keep their tomato and rhubarb plants??”) I am glad to not be alone! And if you’ve somehow inherited a robust rhubarb plant and don’t know where to start, what about trying this delightful, easy quick-pickle? Be forewarned however; you might find snacking on these crunchy, tart and lightly-spiced morsels so addictive that you’re soon in search of more rhubarb.
Quick Pickled Rhubarb
4 large stalks rhubarb (approx. 1/2 lb), washed and cut into pieces
1 tsp peppercorns
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp cloves
half cinnamon stick
1/4 tsp fennel seeds
4 whole green cardamom pods
4 whole allspice
2 bay leaves
zest of 1 orange (in strips; I used a simple vegetable peeler)
1 cup apple cider vinegar
1 cup water
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 tsp salt
Pack the rhubarb, spices and orange zest into a 32-oz canning jar.
In a pot, combine apple cider vinegar, water, both sugars and salt. Heat, covered, until the sugar is fully dissolved, and the mixture comes to a rolling boil.
Pour carefully into the jar (I used a wide-mouth funnel that fits perfectly into the mouth of a canning jar) and screw the lid on top.
Let cool to room temperature, then refrigerate for at least 48h before serving.
Consume within 2 weeks. Trust me – it’ll be gone long before then!