Rhubarb, that bright, tangy vegetable (I think of it as a fruit) that announces spring. It’s going gangbusters in my backyard and you’ll find it piled high in farmers’ market stalls. It’s naturally tart, and a perfect pairing with strawberries—spring’s other darling. This easy jam makes a fine spread for morning toast, a nice garnish for a thick slice of pound cake topped with cream or a filling for a tart. Add a few chopped fresh herbs—thyme, rosemary or basil—and you have a lovely companion for a cheese plate. Store it in the refrigerator for up to three weeks. Like the rhubarb plant itself, the jam won’t last long.
Makes 3 cups
5 cups rhubarb (about 1¼ pounds) cut into ½-inch pieces
2 cups hulled strawberries cut into ½-inch pieces
2 cups sugar
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon lemon zest
Turn all of the ingredients into a saucepan and set over medium-low heat. Cook, stirring until things break down and the jam has thickened, about one hour. To test for doneness, put a dollop of the jam on a chilled plate; if it holds firm and doesn’t seem runny around the edges, transfer it into clean jars. Allow the jars to cool before fixing the lids and storing in the refrigerator for up to three weeks.
Find more recipes and articles from Beth Dooley here.