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Harvest Magic: Learn How to Make the Perfect Green Tomato Chutney

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Green tomato chutney on crackers

Some years a gardener can end up with a large number of green tomatoes in the fall. What to do when the weather app is warning of a freeze tonight, and you have a bushel of green tomatoes in the garden?! This is the perfect opportunity for green tomato chutney!

Chutney is traditionally a relish with a robust flavor – the perfect combination of sweet and savory, with an optional bit of heat. I like mine with a little heat. It pairs well with grilled or cold meats and adds lots of flavor to a hamburger or sandwich. Green tomato chutney makes a colorful addition to a charcuterie board. It also makes a lovely gift.

Sweet and Savory Green Tomato Chutney Recipe

Ingredients for Green Tomato Chutney

  • Pickling Vinegar

  • Optional Ingredients

Green Tomato Chutney Instructions

  1. For the spiced pickling vinegar, add the cloves, chili, peppercorns, and ginger to a glass jar with a 2 cup capacity. Add the vinegar to the top of the jar. Cover and let sit for at least 13 hours. It can be made weeks ahead and will be stronger the longer it sits. Strain before using.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, add the tomatoes, onions and salt and stir together. Cover and set in a refrigerator for 12 hours, overnight is good.
  3. Add the tomato mixture , including all the liquid, to a large pot. Bring to boil over low heat. Too much heat will cook the mixture too much. When gently boiling, add the sugar and 1/2 cup of pickling vinegar.
  4. Gently simmer over low heat, uncovered, until it reaches the desired thickness, stirrring regularly. Remove from heat, add mustard powder, curry powder, cornflour and turmeric. Stir and return to heat for a 5 or 10 minutes.
  5. At this time you should taste and adjust the seasonings to your liking, cooking a few more minutes to incorporate any additions.
  6. Ladle into sterilized jars and seal following the recommendations in the Ball Canning Book, which I consider the Bible of canning, or another resource. I process pint jars in a water bath for 15 minutes. But, please check the insturctions in a reputable canning book.

Water bath canning is not difficult, if you are unfamiliar with the method. You can preserve in a water bath when the acid level in the food is high, like tomatoes. Pressure canning is appropriate for low acid foods, like green beans. You can learn the basics of water bath canning on many websites and YouTube channels, or in books. I encourage you to try it!

What is Chutney?

According the the Bible, er, the Ball Canning Book, Chutney comes to us from East India. The word “chatni”, means “to be liked” or “to be tasted”. Chutney can be a mix of fruit, vegetables, and spices, ranging as broadly as your imagination. Here are the possibilities lin the Ball book alone:

  • Apple Rhubarb Chutney
  • Sweet Yellow Tomato Chutney
  • Tomato and Apple Chutney
  • Curried Apple Chutney
  • Apricot Chutney
  • Mediterranean Apricot and Date Chutney
  • Cherry Chutney
  • Cranberry Chutney (something new to try for Thanksgiving!)
  • Kiwi Chutney
  • Mango Chutney
  • Nectarine Chutney
  • Orange Rhubarb Chutney
  • Caribbean Peach Chutney
  • Plum Chutney
  • Tamarid Chutney

So, you see, Chutney is a versitile kind of relish, not a strict recipe. You should feel free to modify it with seasonings and vegetables and fruits that you particularly like.

What Else Can You Do with Green Tomatoes?

Green tomatoes are a gift at the end of the season. They are versatile and can be used in various dishes. Here are some ideas besides making green tomato chutney:

  1. Fried Green Tomatoes:
    • Slice the green tomatoes and coat them in a mixture of cornmeal and spices.
    • Fry them until they’re golden brown. They make a delicious appetizer or side dish.
  2. Green Tomato Salsa:
    • Chop green tomatoes, onions, cilantro, and jalapeños.
    • Mix them together with lime juice to create a zesty green tomato salsa.
  3. Green Tomato Relish:
    • Combine chopped green tomatoes with onions, bell peppers, sugar, and vinegar.
    • Cook it down to create a tangy relish that pairs well with various dishes.
  4. Pickled Green Tomatoes:
    • Make pickles by brining green tomato slices with vinegar, spices, and herbs.
    • Fermented pickled tomatoes are a gut-healthy option to pickling with vinegar.
  5. Green Tomato Curry:
    • Use green tomatoes in a curry with spices, coconut milk, and your choice of protein.
  6. Green Tomato Pie:
    • Make a savory green tomato pie with a pie crust, cheese, and herbs.
  7. Green Tomato Jam:
    • Create a sweet and tangy green tomato jam by cooking them down with sugar and lemon.
  8. Grilled Green Tomatoes:
    • Slice green tomatoes and grill them with olive oil, salt, and pepper for a unique side dish.
  9. Green Tomato Pasta Sauce:
    • Cook green tomatoes with garlic, onions, and herbs to make a flavorful pasta sauce.
  10. Green Tomato Gazpacho:
    • Blend green tomatoes with cucumbers, peppers, and herbs to make a refreshing gazpacho soup.
green tomatoes for green tomato chutney recipe
Green tomatoes are a gift at the end of the season.

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