Spiced Rhubarb-Sour Cherry Chutney

This chutney would be delicious as part of a cheese board or on top of crostini that has been smeared with fresh homemade ricotta.  I’d also add it to a ham and cheese sandwich, dollop a spoonful on a hamburger or across a grilled hot dog or brat. Makes 2 1/2 pints

4 1/2 cups 1/4-inch cubes fresh rhubarb (about 1 1/2 pounds)
½ cup (3 oz) chopped red onion
2 tablespoons minced peeled fresh ginger, or to taste
1 tablespoon minced garlic
3/4 tart apple, peeled and diced (eat the remaining quarter)
2 teaspoons unsalted butter
1 cinnamon stick
2 bay leaves
½ teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
1 teaspoon yellow mustard seeds
1 teaspoon cumin
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
1/8 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
3/4 cup (6 oz) golden brown sugar
1/4 cup white or apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
1/2 cup dried tart cherries or golden raisins (about 3 ounces)
Zest of one orange, preferably organic

Preheat a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Melt butter; add cinnamon stick and bay leaves and stir. Add onion and ginger and sweat until just tender but not browned; about a minute.

Add garlic, salt, coriander and mustard seeds and cook until garlic is just tender. Add the cumin, cloves, and red pepper flakes; cook for another 30 seconds or until the spices have bloomed and are fragrant. Add the sugar, vinegar and orange juice; bring to simmer over low heat, stirring until sugar dissolves.

Add dried cherries (or raisins) and rhubarb; increase heat to medium-high and cook until rhubarb is tender, and mixture thickens slightly, about 5 – 6 minutes. Stir in diced apple and orange zest and cook for another minute.

Cool completely, then remove the bay leaves and cinnamon stick. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill. The chutney will keep, covered and refrigerated, for 2 weeks. Serve cool or at room temperature.

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