Make green tomato chutney with your unripened fruits. It can be served with cheese, bread, and other pickled vegetables or used as a marinade
If you grow your own tomatoes, you know what it’s like to have a mountain of green fruit at the end of summer. This year I’m looking at an entire greenhouse full and of several different varieties. I’ll take some indoors to ripen but honestly, they’re delicious if you feel adventurous enough to cook with them. I’ve tried fried green tomatoes, green tomato pasta sauce, and green tomato ketchup before. One of the best recipes though is green tomato chutney.
If I were to describe the flavor it would be sweet and sour, yet rich with a touch of heat. It pairs well with cheese, bread, and cured meats and is pretty much a British allotment preserve staple.
Making Green Tomato Chutney
Green tomato chutney is one of the simplest and quickest preserves you can make. You literally chop the ingredients up, put them in a pot and cook them together for an hour. It’s also a great way to use up green tomatoes at the end of the season. To make it you can use small tomatoes and large and it doesn’t matter if you mix and match tomato varieties.
Unlike other recipes, mine doesn’t use apples — it’s all about chunky pieces of onion and tomato. I also don’t bother with reducing the water content before cooking, since it evaporates off while boiling anyway. My recipe is versatile too. This year I made it with distilled white vinegar and a mix of white and brown sugars and it ended up just as delicious as ever.
Green Tomato Chutney Recipe
- Stainless steel pan
- Clean and sterilized jars
- 1 Kg Green Tomatoes 2.2 lbs or about 6 cups / skinning is optional
- 1 Kg Red Onions 2.2 lbs or about 6 cups
- 150 g Raisins 5.2 oz or about 1 cup
- 3 Garlic cloves
- 1/4 tsp Cayenne pepper
- 1/4 tsp Black pepper
- 2 tsp Sea salt
- 500 g Brown sugar 2½ cups
- 1 Litre Malt Vinegar 32 fl oz or about 4¼ cups
- Prepare the vegetables. Chop the tomatoes, onions, and raisins roughly and mince the garlic.
- Place all ingredients into a stainless steel pan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and then simmer uncovered for at least an hour. Depending on batch size and your appliance's heat, it can take longer -- even up to three hours. Keep an eye on it and stir occasionally.
- The chutney is ready when it's reduced down and appears thick and brown.
- Spoon the chutney into warm, sterilized jars and seal with lids. It's common in the UK to reuse supermarket jars for this preserve and to simply finish with this step. However, it's better to use proper preserving jars and to water-bath the jars after they're filled*.
- Water-bath the jars to ensure that they're fully sterilized. Fill a tall pan with water and place a rack at the bottom if you have one**. Bring to a boil then lower your jars in so that they're not touching and that there's at least an inch of water above. Bring back to a rolling boil and leave the jars in the boiling water for five minutes. Lift them out vertically (not tilted) with a jar lifter and set them on the counter to cool. The lids will seal as the chutney cools – you’ll hear a pop as the seal closes. It may take twelve or more hours for the seal to take.
- Label the jars when cool and store in a dark cupboard. Refrigerate the jars once opened and try to use it within a year.
- In Britain, it's not common for people to water-bath high-acid preserves like this green tomato chutney. That's because there's been no national body that gives advice on home preserving since WWII and folks have been using outdated advice that era. Food science has moved on since then and we now know that not water-bathing your preserves can lead to spoilage and potential sickness. Please water-bath your preserves and read more on the history of current British preserving here.
- ** If you don't have a rack, you can also push a tea towel or bath towel to the bottom of the pan and set your jars on it. The idea is that you protect the bottoms of your jars from the direct heat of the hob/pan.