As culinary explorations go this one raises quite a few questions: Why the sudden need to 'preserve' such a thing? I have, after all, gotten this far in life without much rhubarb. It can't be about "preservation" if they are going to be gone within a few days? And how come supermarket checkers never seem to know what rhubarb is and have to ask someone else in order to ring it up? ("Hey Diane! Is this 'Taro Root?"....um, no.) How come something this good only merits a few stalks in the produce section? Why isn't everybody hoarding it like I am? (See above regarding so little supermarket demand.)
This particular recipe seemed to be less about rhubarb pickling for preservation (or even as culinary ingredient) and about preparing rhubarb to be eaten as its own discrete treat. A little jewel of a snack. As a snack, they are perfect. Don't fully peel the rhubarb so as to preserve the lovely red pigment. They will get a little chewier as a result but you are free to repeat the hot brine process as much as you want to get the consistency you like best. I did it twice. The original recipe called for honey instead of sugar. I substituted an equal amount of white sugar knowing that this would make the result less sweet since honey is sweeter than sugar by volume. This was fine with me as I wasn't after the desert topping result the original recipe seemed intended for. To recapture the flavor loss this substitution I added in just a taste of brown sugar. Good move. I was pleased with the result and will probably do it this way again as honey can be a bit overpowering. The original recipe also calls for grenadine which is something I don't keep on hand and since commercial grenadine is all high fructose corn syrup and artificial flavors. Instead of the poison that is HFCS I added a few tablespoons of Red Dye #4. Aren't I sensible?
adapted from Johnny Iuzzini’s Rhubarb Pickles
Guess who is checking out home made grenadine recipes?