Well, mouldy green tomatoes are not to my taste, so I threw out all the ones which were, like the Canaanites in the Old Testament, beyond redemption, which left about half a kilo (of tomatoes that is, not Canaanites). The plan for all these under-ripe toms had been that they would sit on a windowsill and slowly ripen over the coming weeks, supplying us with a constant supply of smugness as we adorned our salads with proper tomatoes, none of that supermarket rubbish etc. Well, clearly that plan was now lying in tatters and we needed a new one. All of which preamble is a very long way of saying the following: last night I made some green tomato chutney.
I'd never made any kind of chutney before, so briefly scoured t'internet before settling on a Nigel Slater recipe which I adapted slightly - his calls for half and half green/red toms; having no red ones, I upped the sugar a bit, and I substituted some pickling spices for the specified yellow mustard seeds.
450g green tomatoes, halved if small, quartered if large
175g red onions, chopped
135g light muscovado sugar
1 tsp maldon or other decent salt
2 tsp pickling spices (not sure what's in this precisely as I got it from a local Asian store and there's no ingredients on it. There's definitely some dried chili, mace, mustard seed and fennel seed, but loads of other mysterious stuff too. I reckon you could put whatever seeds and spices you fancy in here depending on taste)
175ml white wine vinegar
This is not a complex recipe. All you do is bung everything in a stainless steel pan, bring to the boil, then turn down the heat to a simmer for an hour. That's it! The kitchen smells pretty great as it's cooking, a bit wintery/ christmassy from all the spices. I stirred a couple of times to check it wasn't sticking to the pan and took the lid off for the last 10 mins as there was still a fair amount of liquid at that point. This recipe made enough to fill one medium sized kilner jar.
|After approx 30 mins cooking|
I tasted some while it was still hot and it was great. You could taste the tomatoes, but the spices had given it a real kick, it almost tasted like an Indian style chutney, which isn't very surprising considering where I got the spices from. Once cooled down it was still great, but a bit less noticeably spicy. I really like how the tomatoes, raisins and onions are still distinguishable and haven't completely collapsed or turned into mush.
|Like that annoying Jock says "Green tomato chutney? Done!"|
So, if you've got a bunch of unripe toms that you think might not go red before they go bad, I can heartily recommend this. I'm now off to look for other things to chutney...