Rhubarb is the first edible (other than chives and things grown in greenhouses!) that comes up on the Vineyard in the spring. It always excites me to see the stalks push up from the earth and the (inedible!) leaves unfurl. When a few stalks get big enough to cut, this is the first thing I make. We serve it with grilled pork tenderloin or roasted sausages, but you could also serve it with fresh goat cheese and crackers as an hors d’oeuvre. I have also made this at Thanksgiving time with the last of my garden rhubarb - and a few fresh cranberries added in. You can also substitute any dried fruit for the cranberries and use any citrus zest you like.

Makes about 1 cup

  • 1 cup medium-diced fresh rhubarb
  • 3 tablespoons finely diced shallot 
  • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped dried cranberries
  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoons finely grated citrus (lemon, lime or orange) zest
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt


1. Combine all of the ingredients in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the shallots are softened and the juices are beginning to thicken, about 5 minutes.

2. Uncover and continue to simmer, stirring frequently, until the chutney is very thick, about 6 to 8 minutes more.

3. Let the chutney cool completely and serve at room temperature. Store any leftovers in the fridge, tightly covered for up to two weeks.