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How to make green tomato chutney with your unripened fruits. You’ll need about two pounds of green tomatoes, onions, and a few other ingredients. It’s a recipe that cooks down to a rich dark chutney that can be served with cheese, bread, and other pickled vegetables. You can also use green tomato chutney 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 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. When life gives you green tomatoes, you make green tomato chutney!
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 (or three!). 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, but you could if you wish to reduce the cooking time. What that entails is using salt to draw moisture out, just like I do in my green tomato relish recipe. This 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 med-low and simmer uncovered. Depending on batch size and your appliance's heat, it can take one to three hours. Keep an eye on it and stir regularly.
- 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 ten 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. 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. It’s a far safer practice though and I’d recommend that you do it. You can 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.
- This recipe takes a long time to cook down, but the time is worth it. You can reduce the amount of time by using less malt vinegar (you can use as little as half) but it won’t be as good as the original.
More Green Tomato Recipes and Preserving Inspiration
If you enjoyed this green tomato chutney recipe (and you will!) then check out some of my other autumn recipes. They include another green tomato recipe (that even explains how healthy green tomatoes can be) and other delicious food in jars to make now and enjoy later.
- Sweet green tomato relish recipe
- How to make Country Wine (using berries, fruit, and vegetables)
- 3-ingredient blackberry gin recipe
- Elderberry jelly recipe
- Butternut squash pie recipe