Tomatoes… they comes in a whole array of size, colours & there are so many varieties that they run into the thousands! Technically a fruit but most often used a vegetable in savoury dishes, most tomatoes have a sweet, gently tangy flavour which tastes just as good raw as it does cooked. This year, I’ve got three varieties of tomatoes growing in my garden… a cherry, a plum & a salad variety. Now that we’re into August, all of a sudden they’ve had a kickstart & are all starting to ripen (cue me taking a ridiculous amount of photographs to compare with previous years, I can’t be the only one who does this?). I’ve found myself with more red little fruits in my greenhouse than I can possibly eat! With British tomato season running from June right through to October, there’s no sign of them slowing down any time soon either.
Whilst tomatoes are relatively easy plant to grow, I’m still considering my 2 kilos of early summer harvest an achievement. However, it’s no good having a bumper crop of something if you can’t physically eat it all before it begins to turn. I mean, there’s only so many salads a girl can eat in a week. So, glowing with a scarlet shade of pride, I figured there’s only one real solution…chutney! Chutney is one of my go-to recipes to use up things such as tomatoes, apples, pears & chillies, it’s cheap, easy, avoids waste & I can enjoy a little taste of summer in the depths of a Welsh winter.
Tomato chutney is great all rounder of a recipe. It’s pure, sweet, tangy tomato goodness in a jar. Everyone loves a little taste of tomato, it quite literally goes with anything. Don’t simply relegate this one to a cheeseboard (although, still highly recommended!), try this chutney as a slightly tangier tomato sauce… spread it in sandwiches, toss it through pasta, eat it with a spoon, the possibilities are endless! Being such a popular flavour, I usually make a few big batches of this chutney so that I’ve got some extra one laying around the house to gift to people at Christmas time (because no, the summer is not to early to be prepping for the season). So whether you’re looking for a way to use up a load of tomatoes, a nice homemade gift to make someone or just fancy giving chutney a go, this one is a really good beginner recipe if you’ve never made a chutney before. Even if you have, this is still just a really good chutney.
(makes around 4 chutney jars)
- 1 kg tomatoes (any), roughly chopped
- 2 large onions, finely chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
- 250g soft light brown sugar
- 300ml cider vinegar
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- 2 tsp mustard seeds
- Add all of the ingredients into a large maslin pan or heavy bottomed saucepan
- Give everything a good stir before turning on the heat to a medium temperature & gently warming the mixture through until all of the sugar has dissolved
- Once dissolved, bring the pan to the boil
- As soon as you’ve reached a boil, reduce to a medium head and simmer the mixture for 1 1/2 to 2 hours (depends how juicy your tomatoes are), stirring often to make sure that it doesn’t catch on the bottom of the pan
- After an hour give a final stir to check that the liquid has reduced down, the tomatoes have broken down & the mixture is thick & pulpy
- Pot up the chutney into clean, sterilised jars