Saturday, May 14, 2011

Rhubarb Mustard

I was fortunate enough to be gifted some local rhubarb from Patricia Decker.  She harvested it from her garden in Billings. The stalks varied in length from 6-10". Whats amazing to me is to see the difference between their growing season and ours. The plants in town have barely popped through the soil and are sprouting their leaves.  I'm sure we'll have rhubarb of comparable size in the next 2-3 weeks.

Inspiration for making rhubarb mustard came from a gourmet post a few years back. I had intended to try this recipe last year, but couldn't get past making strawberry-rhubarb jam, muffins or pies. When the availability for fresh rhubarb came so early in the season, I made up my mind I would start the season out by giving this recipe a whirl.

In the end, I made several alterations, so here is the recipe for my version. When you compare the recipes you'll see that I added more fenugreek and sweetener. For me, the rhubarb's bitterness overwhelmed the mustard.

Rhubarb Mustard

makes 8-4oz jars or 4 half pints

3/4 cup yellow mustard seeds*
1/2 cup brown mustard seeds*
1 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
3 1/2 cups rhubarb cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/2 cup organic cane sugar
1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 3/4 cups cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

*reserve 2 tbsp of each type of mustard seed if you would like a grained mustard for a finished product.

Grind the mustard and fenugreek seeds into a fine powder. I use an electric coffee grinder that is dedicated for spice grinding. Put everything in a wide pot and cook over medium heat until the rhubarb is soft. At this point, decide if you would like a chunky or smooth mustard. I opted for smooth, so I used an immersion blender to make the mixture smooth. Add reserved mustard seeds. Pour mustard into hot sterilized jars, seal and process 15 minutes in a boiling water bath.

I'm envisioning this to be great on a grilled sandwich or a dipping sauce for venison summer sausage this fall.

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