No waste green tomato chutney
It’s the end! …of the growing season.
We have been left with an abundance of unripe tomatoes that sit bleakly staring at me like the last chicken in the shop! We had a good season of grow your own (for novices anyway) & the end of the season is now upon us, and nothing should be wasted in the new world order of small crop farming! The difference between red tomatoes (apart from the obvious!) is that red tomatoes don’t make the best chutney! It’s true! Crazy, but these little green remnants are instead the perfect base for any chutney. They SCREAM use me! Don’t turn me to the compost! So… we don’t.
Grow your own is super important in the plans for our croft, as we don’t to waste anything, literally. We are recyclers extraordinaire! Everything (and I mean everything has a purpose and second purpose, and a third… anyway you get the idea.
So initially I was a little disappointed when our tomatoes didn’t ripen but to my surprise green tomatoes actually make the best chutney as sermoned by our good friend (Neil Cook – more about him later) “Shelf the red buggers and put them on a salad for goodness sake!”
Straight to the pseudo scientific! They are much firmer, which is always a good starting point in potency. They are less juicy than ripe ones, so, as Gavin would say, every cloud….
My memories of chutney & jams were of my grans kitchen.
She was a collector! Not of chutneys, but jars! But I can remember her selecting from her garden, and producing the most gorgeous chutneys, jams and just about everything that can be squeezed, enticed and forcibly press ganged into something ace!
Her larder, through a small door in her kitchen, was always one of the first go to places for all her grandchildren, but now I think of it, all stocked from floor to ceiling with all kinds of homemade delights, it was the sweetie shelf that we as kids aimed for! Now that we are, cough, cough, older, I think we missed the real gems! I never really thought about it much until now, but maybe, just maybe my grans green fingers and kitchen skills are in my DNA? Passed on like a good curse to eat or make anything that makes me tingle! Good old gran!
Green Tomato Chutney
But back to the chutney, sorry, it was really supposed to be a food story. Anyway, I have always loved a chutney, or relish, and our regular Friday night tapas or cheese and crackers is not complete without the relishes on the side. When it’s fresh, it’s real and it’s something that cannot be replicated with a jar full of additives. Past this, it’s the fact that it’s made by you! From something you grew, not paid for, and it really is so much fun to create & preserve all you grow. So guess what everyone will be getting for Christmas this year!
I am still learning how to grow your own and the art chutney making, so my advice is keep it simple with not too many ingredients, and with no hard set rules! Who know what you may conjure up! Make small batches of each and mix it up a little each time to see what you prefer, and makes notes on what you liked, also, what you didn’t!
One small warning, if your family (maybe it is just mine) are sensitive to cooking vinegar smells in the house, you may be banished, like me to outside to do the cooking part!
Simple Green Tomato Chutney Recipe
Green tomato chutney is one of the simplest and quickest you can make. You just have chop the ingredients up, put them in a pan, and cook them together. You can mix up all different varieties and have it spicy or not.
Here you go… your starter for 10 (or two)…
2.5 kg green tomatoes
500 grams onion
1 tablespoon salt
500 grams sultanas
500 grams cooking apples
500 grams light muscovado sugar
1 litre apple cider vinegar
Optional – a few dried chilli flake and mixed ground spice or curry powder(teaspoon) & season to taste
Slice the tomatoes in small chunks. Finely chop the onions. Place in a large bowl with the salt. Leave for a few hours.
After a few hours, chop the sultanas & peel, core and chop the apples. Put the sugar and vinegar into a large pan and bring to the boil (outside or in depending on your family), stirring to dissolve the sugar. Add the sultanas and apples and tomatoes and simmer for 1 hour, keeping an eye on the pan and stirring occasionally.
After an hour check your mixture that should be thick and pulpy, if not simmer a little longer until you are happy with the consistency. Then transfer to warmed jars, allow to cool and cover with lids.
You can use old jam jars for chutney as long as the inside of the lids are plastic coated, otherwise the vinegar corrodes the metal. To sterilise, wash the jars in very hot water and leave to drain. When they are dry, put them in the oven at 160C/140C fan/gas 4 for 10 mins before using.
Green tomato relish
This another great recipe for pickled green tomato relish to give a go.
I hope you enjoy creating some delicious sides with all your produce and that you get to stay in the kitchen!