While I'm anxiously waiting for ripening tomatoes and peppers, I jumped on the chance to use an in-season vegetable. I wasn't inspired by the usual rhubarb treatments drowned in sugar for pies, jams and crumbles. Why not embrace the sour? Doing a bit of research I developed this recipe for pickle chips to have a tart yet slightly spicy profile that I think would be an interesting companion for burgers to a cheese platter. Note that these are what is called 'refrigerator pickles' meaning you sterilize your jars and lids, but don't process the jars after they are full. The additional heat will turn the rhubarb to mush.
Rhubarb Pickle Chips
Servings: 16 (makes 2 pints)
Time: About 15 minutes active; 3 hours total including cooling time
Price: About $7.50 total; less than $0.50 per serving
Nutrition (per serving):
Saturated fat: 0g
1 3/4 cup cider vinegar
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 oz fresh ginger, peeled and sliced thinly
4 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced thinly
2 bay leaves
6-10 whole cloves
1 tsp pink peppercorns
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
2 pint jars, preferably wide-mouthed, cleaned and sterilized
1 lb rhubarb, sliced
1. In a stainless steel pot, bring all the ingredients, except rhubarb, to a boil over medium heat. Boil 5 minutes and remove from heat.
2. Put rhubarb slices in the jars and pour brine over top, leaving 1" clearance at the top. Screw tops on tightly and let cool completely before refrigerating. These will keep in the fridge several weeks.