March 19, 2010


For Tigresses in a Jams March CAN-JAM the directive was alliums. Wandering through the Santa Monica farmers market I had a vague idea of a ramp and fennel pickle, but sadly there where no ramps to be found. But with spring in full swing the market was bursting with irresistible produce, asparagus, fennel, strawberries and rhubarb all beckoned me. Impulsively, and without a plan, I grabbed whatever struck my fancy and came home with rhubarb, fennel, spring onions, tarragon and blood oranges. Voila, Rhubarb Fennel Chutney.

chutney |ˈ ch ətnē|
noun ( pl. -neys)
a spicy condiment made of fruits or vegetables with vinegar, spices, and sugar, originating in India.

What defines chutney I wondered? Concerned that technically this recipe was not a chutney as it lacked raisins, I poked around on line searching for a definitive definition. I found no concrete answer and somehow, as is oft with the Internet, I knew both more, and less. Raisins I learned are not essential. In India the term chutney covers a panoply of condiments: sweet, spicy, fresh, cooked, and herbal, every cook and region has their own.  Chutney is to India as salsa is to Mexico, and then some. To me it is defined by sweet and sour characteristics which pungent rhubarb lends itself perfectly too.  I have added to that onions, tarragon, Pernod and fennel, typically French flavors that result in hybrid, which I am happy to call chutney.


  • 2 cups white wine vinegar
  • 11/2 cups brown sugar
  • 11/2 cups white sugar
  • 2 lbs rhubarb cut into 1/2 inch slices
  • 2 cups chopped fennel
  • 2 cups chopped onion
  • 3 tablespoons fresh ginger minced
  • zest and juice of 1 large orange
  • (blood orange if available)
  • 4 sprigs fresh tarragon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cups Pernod


  1. Prepare canner, jars and lids.
  2. In a large pot heat vinegar and sugar over low heat until sugar dissolves. Add remaining ingredients and simmer for 35-45 minutes stirring occasionally until the mixture thickens.
  3. Fill jars leaving 1/2 inch headspace . Seal and place jars in canner covering with more hot water to submerge the jars. Bring to a boil and process hot water bath for  10 minutes for 1/2 pints and 20 minutes for pints. Remove canner lid and wait 5 minutes before carefully removing jars. Place jars on towels or a cutting board and let cool undisturbed for 24 hours.
  4. Label date and enjoy!


  1. I have to know where you found that jar (if it is your photo). Very pretty and unique compared to Ball jars. LOL

  2. My taste buds are tingling just reading about this. I enjoy canning and have been surprised by how many woman/bloggers are skeptical about canning. So I am getting ready to host a "Canning Week Blog Party" on my blog next week (Aug. 23-27). We will be posting lots of tips, recipes as well as a linky party and give-a-ways all related to canning and all in hopes of educating and encouraging others to can. It should be a lot of fun and I would love for you to stop by and link up!!!

  3. great article, just stumbled onto this blog and looks good so far

  4. Great post! I’m looking to make some changes in my own eating habits, so I appreciate your insight a lot! Thank you. I recently stumbled upon this blog like I did yours and I thought your readers may appreciate it:

    I’ve started to look for their stuff more regularly and I think I’m going to add your blog to my list as well. Thanks for the post!

  5. Dont you have to take the clips off for storage of your jars? Great recipe! Thanx

  6. In the Philippines, they have something similar with salsa, and chutney wherein all the vegetables are mixed with vinegar. It is called "atchara" which is composed by dry and grated papaya with colorful vegetables.

  7. I love Chutney. Thanks for the recipe.

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  9. can I use just white vinegar to change that white wine vinegar? cuz I don't drink wine

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