Cooking / Kodiak, AK

Get in the pink with rhubarb pickles [recipe]

Rhubarb pickles

Just when you think you’ve tried all the rhubarb recipes on the planet, then comes…

Rhubarb pickles

Oh, sure, you can find rhubarb pickle recipes online, but I found most of them to be impractical, with silly ingredients and silly instructions.

My motto is to keep it simple, tasty, healthy, and quick, which I tried to accomplish in my last recipe:

First Rhubarb: My excuse to dream up a new recipe where I make rhubarb muffins using a handy, multi-purpose, whole wheat muffin mix.

Rhubarb pickles

There’s life beyond rhubarb pie. (Marion Owen photo)

Back to the pickles…

Either way you serve them, rhubarb pickles are rosy-pink beautiful and they’re inspiring.

Why? Because crazy recipes like this will likely prod you to explore new, culinary heights.

Okay, once you get your creative [pickled] juices flowing, you’ll discover all kinds of ways to add rhubarb pickles to all sorts of dishes.

They’re a pickle lover’s pickle, and you can re-use the liquid, too.

I bet they’d be great sliced thin and packed on a veggie burger.

You think?

Rhubarb Pickles

2 cups vinegar (cider or white)
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons salt
2 tablespoons pickling spices
1 piece (1-1/2 inch) fresh ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
Peel from 1 orange
3 cups fresh rhubarb, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch pieces

In a non-aluminum medium saucepan, combine the vinegar, sugar, salt, pickling spices. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally until sugar is dissolved, about 5 minutes. Slice orange peel into strips and add it with ginger to the pan. Cool liquid to room temp. Spoon rhubarb into glass jar(s). Ladle in the cooled brine mixture. Cover and refrigerate pickles for one week before eating. They will keep refrigerated for many months.

How to eat a rhubarb pickle

There’s life after rhubarb pie. As I said, you can add pickled rhubarb to coleslaws, fruit salads, and tossed greens…

Soups, stews, baked potatoes, steamed yams, and tuna salad…

Slice them up for sandwiches and decorate your favorite chicken and seafood dishes. Start by packing an H&G’d (headed and gutted) whole salmon with rhubarb pickles before baking or grilling.

When all the pickled bits are gone from the jar, use the leftover vinegar for a tasty salad dressing base.

There you have it: Rhubarb pickles!

Thanks for stopping by,

— Marion

NOTE: This article was originally published in the Kodiak Daily Mirror, the hometown newspaper for Kodiak, Alaska. You can access the archive page for my past columns, written each week since 1986].

P.S. Are you tired of playing tug-of-war with weeds? Depressed over watching your plants wither in a drought? Compost is the answer to all your problems. Find out how to make compost in 6 weeks. Join the waitlist for my next FREE composting mini-class. Meanwhile, check out my Joy of Composting Facebook page. To drop me a note, here’s my email address: marion (at)

No Comments

  • [email protected]
    June 15, 2015 at 7:47 AM

    Perfect timing! I have some I just picked and was wondering what to do with them. I am going to try this today!

  • daryleone
    June 12, 2015 at 2:51 PM

    Hi Marion,
    I might substitute honey for the sugar.
    You might want to invest in a bartender’s ‘twist’ cutter. It’s a hand tool with a flat, metal head, about the size of a nickel. In the middle of the head is a downward vee, which is sharpened. Just drag the blade over oranges, lemons, and limes and a perfect strip of skin is removed … which you twist and drop into your pickles … or Martini, as the case may be.

    • marionowen
      June 16, 2015 at 10:12 PM

      I think honey is a great idea. I’ve tried making preserves, jams and jellies with honey, with limited success. But a pickle, that’s cool. And I’m going to look for a twist cutter. Thanks for the suggestion!

  • Velda
    June 11, 2015 at 7:45 PM

    We have been experimenting with lacto fermentation and I wonder if you could do rhubarb like that. Thanks for the recipe.

    • marionowen
      June 12, 2015 at 4:30 PM

      Sounds like a GREAT idea Velda. Give it a go and let me know how it works out. Good to hear from you. Cheers!

      • daryleone
        June 14, 2015 at 8:11 AM

        Lacto fermentation uses salt to ‘pickle’ vegetables. Nearly anything so treated was pretty much edible ‘as was’ before pickling.
        Adding salt to brine the food allows lacto-bacillus critters to make it sour … dill pickles for instance.
        So you want to make rhubarb more sour? One bite and your face will wrinkle up into a sour-puss that could require surgery to cure.
        – Daryle in VT

  • Ren
    June 11, 2015 at 3:54 PM

    What a treat to see Kodiak in June….


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