Rhubarb Chutney Recipe for Spring
Garden rhubarb is the mainstay of Welsh Spiced Rhubarb Chutney recipe and is the crop we are most impatiently waiting for at this time of the year. It’s one of the first of crops we get to harvest during the Spring months and is the first chutney of the year that we start making. Late April (if we are lucky) and certainly by early May we are busy plucking the sturdy ruby and green stems. Combining them with a local cider vinegar and a blend of warm mixed spices and dates that work together well in this rhubarb chutney recipe. It makes for a welcome change from the steady flow of marmalade we produce throughout the late months winter.
Protecting the harvest
The days are getting longer and the hour change is fast approaching as the new year comes to life in the hedgerows, gardens and orchards in rural Mid Wales. Daffodils are waving their yellow heads at us and the fruit trees and bushes are busy forming buds. Temperatures stray into double figures in the daytime but we’re still in frost season. Always mindful to protect the newly emerging buds and then the blossoms so we have a bountiful harvest later in the year.
It’s at this time of year we set time aside to have discussions with our local growers on what new plantings will be needed for harvesting in Autumn and how other crops have overwintered. Always listed are beetroot and pumpkins, this year we’re asking for chili peppers, shallots and garlic. Excited discussions about how fruit trees planted a couple of years ago may be ready to harvest for the first time later on this year. Planning new products and refining recipes is such an enjoyably slow and seasonal process. Taking time to get the right ingredient, right quality and at the right time takes skill and dedication and involves a chain of experienced input from those we work with.
Such is the beauty of slow food and the joys of Spring.