Have you ever tried chutney made from green tomatoes? Since I have never seen any green tomato chutney offered in a store, my guess is that you haven’t. And it is your loss. Because green tomato chutney is simply delicious – yummy!
I am not much of a vegetable gardener; I lack the time and space. But I do like to grow a handful of vegetables that are easy to plant, grow and harvest. Nothing too fancy, just some easy to do stuff. And a few years back a friend started giving me some tomato plants to plant in the garden. Since then I have struggled a bit to find the perfect spot in the garden for the tomato plants. Last year, it looked good. The plants grew to an impressive size and grew a large number of tomatoes. In case you do not know: tomatoes start out green and only when they turn ripe they start to get orange and then red.
In case you do not know: tomatoes start out green and only when they turn ripe they start to get orange and then red.
And then I got disappointed yet again with the tomatoes. Instead of turning red, the fruit got all mushy, and some kind of fly was feeding on them. So I ended up with a whole lot of green tomatoes of which I knew they would never turn red and ripe to eat. Bummer!
That was when I remembered a film I had seen in my youth: Fried Green Tomatoes. And I started to look for recipes for green tomatoes. What I found was green tomato chutney.
So last year was the first time I had a go at my very own green tomato chutney. And what should I say? I am a huge fan of chutneys. I have tried to make several different sorts myself: Rhubarb chutney, apple chutney, mango chutney. But apart from the Mango chutney, nothing quite convinced me. Until green tomatoes came my way. That simply is awesome!
The Recipe For Green Tomato Chutney
750 g green tomatoes
500 g apples
250 g onions
125 g raisins (I used 150 g fresh seedless grapes instead)
1 tablespoon salt
2 lemon (the lemon zests and the juice)
500 g sugar (white or brown)
250 ml apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons of mustard seeds
2-3 fresh red peppers (if you do not want it to be too hot, take out the seeds – if you like it hot use the peppers with seeds)
Spices (put them into a little sack of cotton that you can take out after cooking)
1 tablespoon coriander seeds
2 teaspoons black pepper seeds
2 tablespoons pimento seeds
2 tablespoons cloves
2 cinnamon sticks (broken)
Put the spices into a small piece of cotton (uncolored) and make a sack that you can take out of the mixture later before you fill the finished chutney into glasses.
Chop the tomatoes (if you want to you can peel them – beware its a hassle – I do not think that peeling is necessary). Peel the apples, cut out the kernels, chop the apples. Chop the onions. Put the tomatoes, apples, onions and the salt into a pot and slowly bring to boil. Stir regularly so that it does not burn. Let simmer for 20 mins on low temperature.
Add raisins (or grapes), sugar, vinegar, lemon peels and the spice sack. Heat up until it boils and the sugar is dissolved. Let simmer for another 30 min until most liquid is evaporated (this is the minimum time, depending on the amount of liquid you should let it simmer for some more time).
Add the mustard seeds and (if you like it spicy) the chopped peppers. Fill the hot mass into glasses with twist-off lids. Close tightly. Let them rest for 1 month.
What I changed
Of course, I wouldn’t be me if I hadn’t changed some things in the recipe:
I am not very fond of raisins, so I took fresh grapes that grow in our garden.
I took less sugar (about 2/3 of what the recipe said), and I really think the chutney is still sweet enough.
I took more spices, especially chilies since I like it spicy.
What to use the tomato chutney for
The recipe book claims the chutney is good to go with cheese – and it is. It is also great with dark meet: Duck, beef, lamb or sausages. You can eat it with roasted vegetables like zucchini or aubergine. It also makes a perfect barbecue sauce.
So this year, you should consider not throwing your green unripe tomatoes in the bin or on the compost: make some chutney from them, you will love it!
This year my tomatoes were perfect. I harvested quite a bunch of delicious red and yellow tomatoes. But still, I got far more green tomatoes when I had to harvest the last remaining tomatoes before the first frost came. So, instead of the meager three glasses I had last year, this year I can enjoy my tomato chutney and give some glasses to friends as a present.
I love giving homemade stuff as little gifts to friends. It is always something they will never be able to buy in a store…