pork + rhubarb = ♥

Rhubarb stalks have been beckoning at the farmers’ market for a few weeks now.  I had been talking myself out of a rhubarb purchase, because rhubarb makes me think of pies, and cobblers, and pies, and tarts..and pies.   As wonderful as it would be to bake, and subsequently devour, all of those things, I am not much of a baker; not because I can’t bake or don’t like to bake, but because I am usually just cooking for myself.   And I DO NOT want an entire pie or batch of something sitting on my counter, tempting me to EAT IT ALL.

Then my mother ended my internal debate when she gave me some of her surplus rhubarb.  I’m utterly unable to let free food go to waste.  Because of my pseudo-moratorium on baking dessert-like things, I started thinking about the savory side of rhubarb.  Does it have a savory side?  I’m still not sure, but I do know that savory and sweet can live together in harmony.  And I am ridiculously pleased to present a recipe that proves it.

Mom and Dad's garden - late May

Mom and Dad's garden - late May

rhubarb chutney

Pork Tenderloin with Rhubarb Chutney

Adapted from Bon Appétit, April 1994 and Bon Appétit, April 2003

Yields 4 servings



1/2 cup (scant) sugar
1/4 cup black fig vinegar or red wine vinegar
1 cinnamon stick
3/4 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
3/4 tablespoon grated orange peel
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
2 1/4 cups coarsely chopped rhubarb
1/4 cup golden raisins
3 green onions, chopped


one 14 – 16 oz pork tenderloin
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 tablespoon olive oil
salt and freshly ground pepper


  1. Stir first 6 chutney ingredients in heavy large saucepan over medium heat until sugar dissolves and mixture boils.  Add rhubarb, raisins, and green onions; bring to boil.  Reduce heat to simmer until rhubarb is tender but not falling apart, about 4 minutes.  Cool to room temperature (I did this by setting the bowl of chutney in an ice bath – I was hungry).  Discard cinnamon.  Cover and regfrigerate until chutney is cold, at least one hour.   Bring to room temperature before serving.
  2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Sprinkle pork with cumin.  Season with salt and pepper.  Heat oil in heavy skillet over high heat.  Add pork and brown on all sides, about 5 minutes.  Transfer pork to roasting pan.  Brush pork with 3 tablespoons chutney.  Roast until thermometer inserted into center of pork registers 155 degrees F, brushing occasionally with 2 to 3 more tablespoons chutney, about 25 to 30 minutes.
  3. Slice pork into medallions.  Serve with remaining chutney.

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4 responses to “pork + rhubarb = ♥”

  1. Dana says :

    Thumbs up on including pictures the garden in progress. It looks much bigger than it was when we were kids.

  2. iamnotafarmgirl says :

    The bigger the garden is, the less Dad has to mow? 🙂 I’m pretty sure you’re right though, I think they have definitely expanded it over the years. I need to go over and take another picture already, they have the tomato cages up now.

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