Finally! Our local Farmer's Market has rhubarb! Living in the Northeast can be frustrating sometimes, as I surf around and see so many of my fellow food bloggers creating mouthwatering food out of seasonal fruits and vegetables I'm still waiting for (I'm looking at you, Susan!). But Saturday I was thrilled to find an abundance of gorgeous long stalks of rhubarb and grabbed a bagful-- enough to make two things I've had on my list for ages.
The first is a simple rhubarb-orange marmalade recipe, which sounded so fresh and tart and delicious when I came across it that I bookmarked it for future reference and stuck a note on my refrigerator to remind me. The second is the recipe for rhubarb crunch from Barbara Kingsolver's Animal, Vegetable, Miracle. If you haven't read this book yet you really should.
I haven't gotten to the rhubarb crunch yet, but I've finished making the marmalade, which is exactly as I'd imagined it would be. The oranges and rhubarb balance each other perfectly, neither one of them upstaging the other, and it' has the slight bitterness that all good marmalades maintain. The consistency is just how I like it, too-- set, but very spreadable. This marmalade has a beautiful color, too--deep red/orange in the jar and almost amber when spread.
makes about six 4-oz jars
6 cups chopped fresh rhubarb
5 cups sugar
2 medium oranges
Combine the rhubarb and sugar in a large heavy pot. Cut the oranges into quarters, removing any seeds, and grind them (including the peels) in a food processor. Add them to the rhubarb and sugar and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered and stirring often, until marmalade sheets from a spoon, about 1 hour. If you don't have a heavy bottomed pot you might want to use a heat diffuser to avoid burning.
Pour into hot sterilized jars, leaving 1/4-in. headspace. Adjust the caps and process in a boiling-water bath for 10 minutes.