I have loads of rhubarb and need to pick it as part of cleaning up and resting the vegetable garden as part of preparing it for us to be away for 8 weeks. I make great rhubarb jam, it is beautiful with a bit of tang. I don’t have a really sweet tooth so to me it is perfect but I have a freezer full of rhubarb jam and we don’t eat much bread so there is no point making more. Second option is rhubarb chutney but I also have a fair bit hanging around and I prefer tomato chutney and I have lots of tomatoes that I need to use.

I make a great zucchini pickle so I thought I would try to find one made from rhubarb – google was not helpful – everything I found was cold strips of rhubarb in a vinegar. Not what I was looking for – something yummy to eat with cold meat!

I revisited my recipe for zucchini pickle and made some modifications and came up with this. It is pretty good!!

rhubarb pickles


Makes about 2 jars, easily doubles, ingredient quantities are not so critical but the mustard seeds give a great pop, and the lemon seems to be necessary to balance the taste.


  • 1 cup finely chopped onions (1 large onion)
  • 3 tbs oil
  • 4 cups sliced well washed rhubarb (about 6 stems)
  • 8 cloves finely sliced garlic
  • 2 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp fenugreek
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 2 tsp turmeric
  • 1 chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
  • 1 tsp salt (adjust to taste)
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup vinegar
  • juice of half lemon
  • Chia seeds to use as thickening (optional )


Heat the oil in a heavy pot, add the mustard seeds and stir until they just begin to pop. Add the onions, garlic and spices, and stir until the onion is clear but not browned, a little water may be necessary.

Add the rhubarb and continue stirring until all ingredients are mixed and the rhubarb is softened. Add vinegar, sugar and lemon juice and cook for another few minutes or until thickened.  Check for taste and adjust – maybe add fish sauce and additional chilli.  Can be thickened with 1/2 tbs chia seeds.

Pack into sterilised jars or as I do – one jar and the rest into zip lock bags to go into the freezer,  or if it is a bit on thin side, consider putting it in to a bottle and using it like sauce.

Really worth a try, it is so good.


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