I arrived home from the markets on Saturday with a crate of less than perfect fruit and vegetables. It is one of the things that I love about the markets – the producers and farmers hate waste and so even the unsaleable items find a home. Greg grows mostly bananas on his farm at Kyogle, but he also has a few other bits and pieces and he is very generous in giving away the things he isn’t able to sell. In exchange for a couple of cakes I came home armed with lots of green and under ripe tomatoes, slightly bashed avocados and plenty of bananas. The bananas are easy to deal with – straight into the freezer. They will make their way into cakes over the next few weeks. The tomatoes are ideal for chutney.
I don’t think that you can ever have enough chutney. Cheese and chutney sandwiches are one of my favourites and there isn’t a lentil or chickpea sausage roll that hasn’t been enhanced by the addition of chutney. I don’t mind what type of chutney it is either – whatever is in the pantry is usually suitable. Not only that but chutney is really easy to make. It’s very adaptable to what you have available and very forgiving. It doesn’t need perfect dicing or precise measurement, it really is a matter of throwing it all in a pot and cooking it until it’s thick.
Green tomatoes aren’t as fleshy as fully ripe ones so they need the addition of apples to give the chutney a bit of body. This recipe for Green Tomato Chutney has a bit of a kick from the chilli and a subtle curry flavour.
Green Tomato Chutney
- 3kg green or under ripe tomatoes, chopped
- 1kg brown onions, chopped (if you have a food processor this is an ideal time to use it)
- 750g apples, peeled, cored and chopped
- 400g sultanas
- 6 garlic cloves, chopped
- 4 red chillies, finely chopped
- 1 litre white vinegar
- 750g raw sugar
- 2 tablespoons mustard powder
- 2 tablespoons curry powder
- 3 teaspoons salt
Place all the ingredients in a large saucepan. Bring to the boil, stirring occasionally until the sugar dissolves. Continue to gently boil the chutney for about 1 1/2 hours or until the mixture thickens. Pour into sterilised jars and leave it for about a month before you are tempted to eat it. This ensures that the vinegary flavour of the chutney has mellowed. Store in a cool place for up to twelve months.
This made 14 jars, which is quite a bit of chutney. Unless you have lots of friends and relatives to give it away to you can just as easily halve the recipe.