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rhubarb refrigerator pickles

Recipe by
Heidi Hoerman
Hingham, MA

There are few savory recipes for rhubarb. Refrigerator pickles are easy to make and fun to eat. You can vary the spices to suit your tastes. This recipe results in a sweet but peppery pickle. Rhubarb in the supermarket is a large, pink and green stalk that looks somewhat like celery. The leaves are not edible so the stalks have usually been trimmed to remove them. Like large stalks of celery, rhubarb can have tough strings. Removing them is recommended for this recipe since the rhubarb is not really cooked here.

yield 1 to 2 pounds pickles
prep time 15 Min
method Refrigerate/Freeze

Ingredients For rhubarb refrigerator pickles

  • 1 to 2 lb
    fresh rhubard (2 lbs. pictured)
  • 1 c
    cider vinegar
  • 1 c
  • 1 plus 1/2 c
    water, filtered if necessary
  • 1 Tbsp
  • 1 tsp
    black peppercorns
  • 1 tsp
    juniper berries
  • 1 tsp
    allspice berries
  • 1 stick
    cinnamon (approx. 2")
  • 2 to 3 sprig
    fresh rosemary, or 1 tsp. dried

How To Make rhubarb refrigerator pickles

  • 1
    Pare the rhubarb: cut off both ends, remove the tough outer strings if necessary, cut into 3 inch pieces and divide lengthwise to form slender pickles that readily absorb the brine.
  • 2
    Crack the peppercorns, juniper berries and allspice in a mortar and pestle to help flavor the brine. If you do not have a mortar and pestle, place them in a sealed plastic bag, set on a hard surface, and whack with a mallet or smooth bottomed pot.
  • 3
    In a small, non-reactive saucepan, bring the vinegar, sugar, salt and 1 cup of the water to a boil. Boil for two minutes, stirring occasionally to fully dissolve the sugar. Reserve 1/2 cup of water to use later if needed.
  • 4
    Put the rhubarb in a heat-safe glass container and carefully cover with the boiling brine. Weight the rhubarb to keep it submerged. If needed, bring the remaining water to a boil and add until all the rhubarb is covered.
  • 5
    Allow the pickles and brine to cool and transfer to a tightly covered glass or plastic container and refrigerate. Wait at least 24 hours before serving. The pickles will keep, refrigerated, in their brine at least a month. Discard if mold develops or if they smell "off."