The Savvy Sailor’s Rhubarb Relish

  • prep time20 min
  • total time 110 min
  • serves 8

This traditional recipe originally appeared in the Dutch Oven cookbook, compiled and published in 1953 by the members of The Ladies Auxiliary of the Fishermen’s Memorial Hospital in Lunenburg, N.S. It’s now lovingly served at The Savvy Sailor Cafe by the granddaughter of the original recipe. This is her slightly modernized version. 
Courtesy of Katherine Eisenhauer, Lunenburg N.S. 

123 Ratings
Directions for: The Savvy Sailor’s Rhubarb Relish


8 cups (2 L) chopped rhubarb

8 cups (2 L) onions, thinly sliced

7 cups (1.75 L) granulated sugar

3 cups (750 mL) cider vinegar

2 tsp (10 mL) salt

2 tsp (10 mL) ground cloves

2 tsp (10 mL) cinnamon


1. Chop rhubarb into rough dice; set aside.

2. Add onions to separate bowl. Cover with boiling water; let sit for 5 minutes. Drain and discard water.

3. In heavy-bottomed pot, dissolve sugar in cider vinegar on medium heat. Add onions, rhubarb, salt, cloves and cinnamon. Stir well. Cook, stirring often, until it reaches a thick jam-like consistency, 40 minutes to 1 hour.

4. Remove from heat; let cool. Place in jar and refrigerate.

See more: Brunch, Dairy-Free, Lunch, Side, Great Canadian Cookbook

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