Sweet pickled rhubarb is easy to make and the most unique way to prepare rhubarb. Fresh rhubarb is pickled in a sweet, salty and spicy apple cider vinegar mixture with ginger, cloves and pickling spice. It'll be your new favorite way to enjoy rhubarb!
Let's make sweet pickled rhubarb
- Rhubarb. You know this wildly unique plant that grows in the springtime - it tastes like sour green apples. When it comes to rhubarb, tang is the name of the game! (But, it’s not just tangy and zesty, it’s also bright and refreshing too!)
- Pickling Spice: This little wonder – a kind of magic in a jar - has everything you want for perfect pickles. It typically contains allspice, black pepper, black mustard seeds, cloves, coriander, red pepper, dried ginger, nutmeg, ground bay leaves, and cinnamon. And of course, if you make a lot of pickles, you may want to make your own spice mixture. Bonus: It’s the perfect summertime gift for your favorite pickle enthusiast.
- Ginger: A really simple and easy way to peel ginger is to use the back of a spoon. Using a vegetable peeler can be awkward because the skin of the ginger gets caught in the blades. Using the back of a spoon helps you effortlessly get into the nooks and crannies of everyone’s favorite little spicy root.
- Apple Cider Vinegar: Although white or rice vinegar are fabulous options for pickles, with the rhubarb you really want to stick with apple cider vinegar. The flavor of the apples marries perfectly with the tart rhubarb.
- Be sure your jars are thoroughly washed.
- The first step is to boil water for the jars. In a large stock pot, bring a pot of water to a boil.
- Now, make the brine. In a medium saucepan, bring the apple cider vinegar, water, sugar and salt to a simmer. Whisk occasionally, until sugar and salt have dissolved.
- Pack the jar full! Add the rhubarb, ginger, pickling spice and whole cloves into a clean quart-size ball jar. Pour vinegar mixture into the jar and secure with the lid.
- Boil the jars. Place entire sealed jar into the boiling water bath for 10 minutes. Remove with tongs and place on a kitchen towel.
- The pickled rhubarb is best after it sits at least a week, but enjoy anytime!
Store in a cool, dry place and allow rhubarb to pickle at least 3 days before opening.
Store in a cool, dry place for up to 1 year (if you followed the boiling directions).
Once opened, store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
How to serve sweet pickled rhubarb
- Stir some into a fresh fruit salad.
- Combine it with jalapenos, cilantro, and onion for an insanely flavorful salsa!
- Smear a bagel with cream cheese and top it with sweet pickled rhubarb.
- Combine the sweet pickled rhubarb with granola as a topping for plain, vanilla, or fruit Greek yogurt.
- Chop strawberries and basil together mound them on top of toasted crostini, and kiss them with the pickled rhubarb!
- Use the pickled rhubarb as a topping for lemon or strawberry sorbet! The creamy texture of the sorbet is a wonderful vehicle for the crunchy rhubarb.
- Fill a large bowl with your favorite peppery salad greens - like arugula, watercress, or turnip or mustard greens - and toss in a good amount of the pickled rhubarb. It’s out of this world!
- Top a southeast Asian noodle dish with the pickled rhubarb. Noodle dishes love a pop of tangy freshness, and this would elevate them to a whole new level!
- When you serve pulled pork sliders, instead of topping it with a vinegar-based coleslaw, try the sweet pickled rhubarb instead. The sweet and tart pickles pair perfectly with the smoky meat to create layers and layers - and layers - of flavor.
- The sweet pickled rhubarb is the perfect accompaniment to roasted lemon chicken!
- Or if you’re feeling like an adventurous mixologist, try this tangy, briny treat as a garnish in your favorite cocktail. It would be particularly good in a drink featuring a shrub as a mixer – such as a strawberry shrub with gin or whiskey.
Recipe Substitutions & Alterations
- When pickling the rhubarb, add in extra whole peppercorns to boost the savory side of the pickles.
- You could also add fennel seeds for a slightly anise addition to the pickles, which would be delicious!
Sweet Pickled Rhubarb
Sliced rhubarb pickled with apple cider vinegar, ginger, pickling spice and cloves.
- Prep Time: 10-15 mins
- Cook Time: 5-10 mins
- Total Time: 15-25 mins
- Yield: Serves 8 1x
- Category: Side, Snack
- Method: No-Cook
- Cuisine: American
- 1 ¼ cups apple cider vinegar
- 1 cup water
- 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
- ½ tablespoon coarse salt
- 1-pound fresh rhubarb, trimmed and sliced in ¼-inch pieces
- 2-inch piece ginger, peeled and sliced
- 1 tablespoon pickling spice
- 1 tablespoon whole cloves
- In a large stock pot, bring a pot of water to a boil.
- In a medium saucepan, bring the apple cider vinegar, water, sugar and salt to a simmer. Whisk occasionally, until sugar and salt have dissolved.
- Pack rhubarb, ginger, pickling spice and whole cloves into a clean quart-size ball jar. Pour vinegar mixture into the jar and secure with the lid. Place entire sealed jar into the boiling water bath for 10 minutes. Remove with tongs and place on a kitchen towel.
- Store in a cool, dry place and allow rhubarb to pickle at least 3 days before opening. Once opened, store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
- *Once opened, the jar of pickled rhubarb will last up to two weeks. Unopened, the jar of pickled rhubarb will last up to a year.
- Serving Size: ⅛ of recipe
- Calories: 32
- Sugar: 5g
- Sodium: 363mg
- Fat: 0g
- Saturated Fat: 0g
- Unsaturated Fat: 0g
- Trans Fat: 0g
- Carbohydrates: 8g
- Fiber: 1g
- Protein: 1g
- Cholesterol: 0mg
Keywords: best, easy, quick, homemade, from scratch, healthy