Saturday, September 22, 2012

Green tomato chutney

My house faces due south and therefore my back yard is due north, in the middle of summer this is often a good thing as there is always some shade and it does not get too hot.  On the other hand it means that it is not very good for growing vegetables, especially tomatoes. My front deck however is not only good for growing tomatoes, it is also a good place to display my first jar of green tomato chutney.

As well as facing south there are no trees shading it, and the glass front on the deck shelters all the plants and works almost like a mini green house.  This extends the growing time as well as the sitting out time to almost any sunny day in the year.

Up to now I have grown only cherry tomatoes, but this year I bought a plum tomato plant as well as some other variety of larger tomato.  The plum tomato plant has been very prolific and I will certainly plant more of these in the future, I have eaten many beautiful red tomatoes off it this summer, but now in late September I am afraid those green tomatoes are never going to ripen.

So fearing the worst, Connie I decided to turn the remaining unripened tomatoes in to green tomato chutney. I have never made this before so I had to hunt on the Internet for a suitable recipe. I found one on the River Cottage website which is from England and is all about less dependence on the outside world, food integrity, and the consumption of local, seasonal produce.

All the green tomatoes left on the deck
I have changed the recipe a little as I wanted more spices and I did not have enough raisins or malt vinegar, but any way this is what we did and it turned out beautifully. We made 4 times the recipe, but I have given the ingredients for the original quanaties.

* 600g green tomatoes
* 1 Large onion chopped
* 250g raisins
* 250g Dark brown sugar
* 1 tsp cayenne pepper
* 1 star anise
* 1 tablespoon of dried ginger
* 1 tablespoon of allspice
* 1 cinnamon stick
* 200ml Malt vinegar
* 200ml white vinegar

Chop up, the tomatoes and onion no need for a perfection, and put it in a good heavy based pan.

Add the remaining ingredients.

The spices
Bring it to the boil and then turn down the heat , simmer for about an hour until reduced to a thick pulp. Leave to cool for 1 hour and spoon into sterilised jars.

There is no need to seal these as the chutney has enough sugar and vinegar to preserve it, though having said that, I did seal mine by processing in a water bath for about 15 minutes.  I just thought it would help keep them longer.

I am sure that the flavours will only improve with a little aging but I had some that did not fill a jar so I have been eating it since, and it is absolutely delicious We should be able to enjoy it with cheese, cold meats and Indian food all winter.

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