Rhubarb Quick Jam / by Anthony Michael Contrino

Rhubarb Quick Jam

Makes approximately 1 cup

Early summer in New York City brings the rebirth of many seasonal fruits and vegetables.  One of my favorites is rhubarb.  For some reason, many people are intimidated by (or just don’t know what to do with) the red, celery looking stalks.  Just to clear the air, only the leaves of the rhubarb plant are toxic.  The actual stalks, although not exactly tasty, can be eaten raw.  This recipe takes just minutes to prep, and pairs the tart rhubarb stalks with sweet honey and cinnamon, for a subtle spice.  Use this jam on hearty bread or pair with a sharp cheese.

2 large rhubarb stalks (about     10 ounces)

1/4 cup clover honey

1/4 cup water

2 tablespoons sugar

1 cinnamon stick

Zest and juice of 1 lemon

Pinch of salt

Trim both edges of the rhubarb stalks.  Cut the stalk in halve, longways, and then chop into quarter-inch pieces.Combine all ingredients in a small, heavy-bottomed saucepan.  

Bring the liquid to a steady simmer, and cook, for 5-10 minutes, until the rhubarb softens considerably.  Use the back of a rubber spatula to mash the rhubarb.  Cook for an additional 30 minutes, stirring every-so-often.

Transfer the jam to a heat-resistant container and cool to room temperature before covering and storing in the refrigerator.  Keep up to 3 weeks.