Rhubarb Chili: A Tangy Twist to a Classic Recipe
Rhubarb is back at the Saratoga Farmers’ Market! This dark red vegetable stalk is often used in desserts and jams, but with its tart and tangy flavor, rhubarb can make a great addition to your favorite chili recipe.
Many people have this easy to grow vegetable in their own backyard. When harvesting rhubarb choose firm, tender, well-colored stalks. Wash rhubarb thoroughly before preparing or preserving. Make sure you discard the rhubarb leaves, since they are poisonous! For fresh use rhubarb can be wrapped and kept in the refrigerator for several days.
To enjoy rhubarb in recipes year round consider preserving it. Rhubarb can be frozen by either dry or wet packing. Dry packing rhubarb is best for short term storage; for three to four months. Wet packing rhubarb uses the addition of some type of syrup or fruit juice, and is recommended for longer storage.
Wet packing is most often recommended when freezing rhubarb because the added sugar helps to improve the flavor, stabilize the color, and retain the shape of the rhubarb. When wet packing rhubarb you can make your own syrup with sugar and water, or use white grape, peach, or apple juice. You only need enough syrup or juice to cover your rhubarb. The syrup or juice is added to help prevent drying, freezer burn, and browning.
Other options for preserving rhubarb include canning or drying. Rhubarb can be canned using the water bath method. Drying rhubarb can be done in your oven or dehydrator. When drying rhubarb remember to place it in a single layer that does not overlap.
For more information about food preservation refer to the National Center for Home Food Preservation, www.homefoodpreservation.com. Cornell Cooperative Extension offers food preservation workshops throughout the summer; a great way to get hands-on experience.
This week’s recipe for rhubarb chili is from the “Farmers’ Market: Favorite Recipes” cookbook. It uses fresh rhubarb bought from the Saratoga Farmers’ Market. I made this recipe without the beef and it was absolutely delicious! Try it either way, I have a feeling you will be going back for seconds!
Ingredients marked with an asterisk (*) are available at the Saratoga Farmer’s Market.
2 pounds tomatoes* (about 3 cups)
1 large onion*, diced
2 garlic cloves*, minced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound ground beef* (optional)
3 cups low sodium vegetable broth
1/3 cup raisins
1 tablespoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon allspice
2 cups rhubarb*, diced
30 ounces canned black beans
To prepare tomatoes, blanch, remove skin and chop. In a large sauce pan on medium heat, sauté onion and garlic with olive oil and ground beef, if desired. Drain fat, if necessary. Add broth, blanched tomatoes, raisins, chili powder and allspice. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Stir in rhubarb and black beans and simmer for another 15 minutes. Makes 8, 1 ¼ cup servings, 10 servings if made with beef.
Nutrition per serving without beef: 190 calories; 3 g fat; 0 g sat. fat; 9 g protein; 510 mg sodium; 32 g carbohydrate, 9 g fiber. Nutrition bonus: Vitamin C (40% daily value), Iron (15% daily value).
Nutrition per serving with beef: 240 calories; 7 g fat; 2 g sat. fat; 19g protein; 25 g carbohydrate
Nutrition bonus: Vitamin C (30% daily value), Iron (25% daily value).
This article was written by Rachel Moskal, a dietetic intern from Sage Colleges working with Cornell Cooperative Extension.
The above recipe is from Cornell Cooperative Extension of Saratoga County’s cookbook, Farmers’ Market: Favorite Recipes, edited by Diane Whitten. Farmers’ Market: Favorite Recipes is available for sale at the Saratoga Farmers’ Market at the green information shed. For more information about food and nutrition, contact Diane Whitten at Cornell Cooperative Extension, firstname.lastname@example.org, 885-8995. Watch for her recipe column each Wednesday in The Saratogian.