I love tomato season. There are loads of them overflowing the bins at the farmers’ markets, and so many of them are still firm and green that I decided to fill a basket and do something with them. I love autumn chutney, and so turned my green tomatoes into a sweet, tangy chutney to spread in grilled cheese sandwiches and serve alongside roast meats and on cheese boards throughout the winter. It keeps well, and makes a great gift — try packaging some up with a chunk of great cheese to share with your favorite people.
Chutney is a great way to preserve those tomatoes that haven’t had a chance to ripen on the vine — of course if you leave them on the countertop, they’ll eventually turn red. But why not take advantage of their distinct flavor and texture while they’re firm and green? The resulting chutney is completely different from what you’d get using ripe red tomatoes.
I came across this recipe at Instructables.com and adapted it — I streamlined the recipe, and added mustard seed and a pinch of chili flakes for a bit of kick, but I do love that it was someone’s grandmother’s recipe to begin with.
Green Tomato Chutney
5 lbs green tomatoes, roughly chopped
1 lb. onions, finely chopped
3 cups malt or apple cider vinegar
2 cups light brown sugar
1/2 cup sultana raisins, roughly chopped
2 Tbsp. mustard seeds
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
Combine everything in a large pot and bring to a simmer; cook for 1 to 2 hours, until the mixture has cooked down and becomes thick and golden. I imagine the mixture could cook in a slow cooker instead – I’d try it on low for 6-8 hours.
Meanwhile, prepare your jars – I wash them in the dishwasher, timing it so that they are hot from the dishwasher when it’s time to fill them. Otherwise, use your favorite method. Chutney also freezes beautifully, so you don’t have to worry about pressure canning.
Once the mixture cooks to the point where a spoon leaves a trail, and it looks like chutney, fill and seal jars or cool, divide into containers and refrigerate for up to 2 weeks or freeze for up to 6 months. Makes lots.