Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Green Tomatoes!

No there're not fried, but stewed into a delicious spicy chutney!  My tomato crop was late this year, partly due to me not getting my seedlings in early, and my partially shady veggie patch.  I went with only two varieties this year, the brandywine and the black from tula. The voluptuous fruit was absolutely delicious, sweet and juicy with the brandy's ripening to a bright pinky red and the tula's a deep greeny red, verging on purple black. Both fruited late but in abundance, however, by mid April the kilo or so left were starting to subject to disease and I suspect a furry ratty friend that comes feasting at midnight.  So fearing the onset of softer sunshine and wintery days, I decided to try my hand at green tomato chutney, a very traditional and delicious condiment which I have since enjoyed with cheese and cold meats on home made wholemeal bread.

Here is the recipe:

2 tsp of all spice
3-4 cloves
2tsp of brown mustard seeds
2 brown onions
2 cups of vinegar, preferably malt, or a combination of red, white and apple cider vinegar
1kg of green tomatoes
Just under 1 cup of brown sugar
1-2 tsp of salt, taste depending
Cracked black pepper, to taste

Dice up tomatoes and onions and place in a heavy based pot, add sugar, spices, vinegar, salt and stir to combine, place on high heat with lid and bring to the boil. Once boiling uncover* and allow to simmer for a minimum of 1 hour, keep stirring now and then to prevent the chutney from sticking. Once chutney thickens add pepper to taste and allow to cook in a little more.  Heat oven to 110 degrees C.  Place clean glass jars in oven to dry and sterilise for 15 minutes.  Carefully remove jars and place on dry cloth, while hot fill with hot chutney and cap with lid immediately. Turn jars upside down for 2 minutes and then return upright to cool at room temperature. Can be kept in a cool dark place for 3 or so months, refrigerate opened jars.  Make sure you label and date them so as to keep track of whats what and time frames. Enjoy :)

* Be careful when removing lid not to breathe in fumes from the vinegar that escape with the steam.  I witnessed someone  passing out once at cookery school after doing this, unless they were so impressed with the job they had done, lightheadedness is a possibility when breathing in strong fumes.

 © Tasmaniasfeast 2013.

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