If you were to ask me what my favorite vegetable is, I’d be hard-pressed to come up with an answer. I’m a big fan of veggies and am not likely to turn many of them away. But there is one vegetable (that doesn’t even really feel like a vegetable – it feels more like a fruit if you ask me) that probably generates a particular kind of excitement in me that others can’t match.
I’m talking about you, Rhubarb.
Mmmmm. . . rhubarb.
I suppose the reason that it excites me so is that it comes and goes so quickly. It’s that whole limited supply, time-constrained marketing ploy that Mother Nature clearly figured out long before the fancy advertising executives did.
Plus, it’s delicious, so it has that going for it.
Rhubarb fascinates me, actually. It’s beautiful. Really truly beautiful. The tall stalks are lovely and when you chop them up, the layers of color inside create an ombre effect that is so visually stimulating. I love how it’s so firm in its raw state, but cooks and bakes up softly with ease.
This year, I have decided I need to stock up and freeze some rhubarb so that I can enjoy it for months to come, but for right now, I made jam. Instead of going the traditional route, combining rhubarb with strawberries (which also would have been great, I’m sure), I decided to combine my rhubarb with apples and whip up a satisfying spread that delivers just a touch of sweetness to whatever it graces.
Apple-Rhubarb Refrigerator Jam
Makes 1 – 1 1/2 cups
- 2 cups rhubarb, chopped
- 1 cup apple, unpeeled, chopped (I used a Granny Smith)
- 1 cup sugar or sugar alternative of your choice
- ¼ tspn ground ginger
- ¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
In a heavy bottomed pot, combine all ingredients over med-high heat. Bring to a low boil and then reduce heat to low-medium, so that it simmers gently. Cook, stirring frequently and skimming off any foam that may develop on the top. Using the back of your spoon or a potato masher, break up the chunks of rhubarb and apple as they soften and break down. The jam is ready when it has become thick and viscous enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon. Remove from heat. Pour into a glass jar and let sit, uncovered at room temperature until cool. The jam will keep in the refrigerator for 3-4 weeks.