So, it dropped down to -5C last night, and we got a solid frost over everything. My neighbour’s glorious squash vines are no more, and our various tomato plants are done for.
I spent a good chunk of today out harvesting the hard green marbles that are unripened cherry tomatoes (plus a slim few roma tomatoes that were larger than the cherries, but there were only a dozen or so of those). What I got was somewhere between two and three litres of unripe tomatoes, plus a litre or two of ripe and ripe-ish ones (the latter are going to be dumped into the crushed tomatoes that I’ll be cooking up in the next 24 hours or so).
What do you do with un-ripe tomatoes?
Some folks would slice them thin, dip them in flour, beaten egg, and cracker crumbs (or corn meal, or crushed potato chips), and fry them up as per the classic dish.
I turn them into chutney.
Unripe tomatoes are more acidic than ripe ones, and this recipe includes a fair amount of sugar, vinegar, apple juice, and diced apples, which also all contribute to the acidity of the preserve. The end result is a tangy mixture that works gorgeously as the main vegetable content in a pork shoulder braise, or slopped over pork chops, chicken thighs, or fish fillets (think pollack or tillapia, rather than salmon) to bake. You can also use it as a side dish or dipping sauce for fish- or chicken- fingers, samosas, or felafal, if you’re so inclined. I suspect it would work well as a chunky spread for a turkey- or ham- on rye sandwich, too.
Here’s the recipe:
Green Tomato Chutney 2015
12 C rough-diced green tomatoes
8 large garlic cloves, minced
1 red onion, diced
5 apples, diced
4 pieces of candied ginger, minced
1 C cider/balsamic vinegar (I used mostly balsamic)
1 C apple juice
2½ C white sugar
2-3 tbsp prepared mustard
2 tbsp salt
1 tbsp nutmeg
2 tsp ground cumin
20 grinds of black pepper (maybe 1 tsp?)
Combine everything in a big pot, and stir so that it’s all well-integrated.
Allow to cook down, half-covered, for a couple of hours (you can do this in a slow-cooker, too, if you want to).
Sterilize some jars in the oven at 225F for 20 minutes (you still have to boil the lids and rings).
Once the chutney is bubbling and thick and smelling delicious, ladel it into the hot, sterilized jars.
Cap and process in a boiling water bath for a good 20-30 minutes (especially if you’re using pint jars or larger).
Allow to cool, listening for the “plunk” that tells you the jars have sealed propperly.
Makes about 8 cups.
So there you go. Green tomato chutney 2015.
Unlike my 2011 green tomato chutney recipe, this one doesn’t contain any peppers (meaning bell/chili peppers, or chili-spices like cayenne or paprika). It has mustard, nutmeg, ginger, cumin, and ground black pepper corns to provide a little heat and a lot of savouriness, though.
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ETA: Having (finally) started chowing down on this stuff, it’s delightful as is, but I would straight-up double the mustard given how well it pairs with same on sandwiches. Then again, I’m kind of a mustard freak, so… Do as you will. 😉
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