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The Quilter Street Chutney – green tomatoes and chilli…

The result

Following on the heels of the Quilter Street Olives last year, I received quite a bit of interest, advice and sympathy 🙂

Simon Robinson at House of Fraser not only passed on advice and enthusiasm, but also turned up in the office one day with a small chilli plant – a donation to the tiny ‘garden’. Dista, Helga’s mum, provided two tomato plants and so all I had to do was sit back and await the sunshine…

However, siince nothing much has ripened this year I decided to make the most of my adversity and knock off a green tomato and chilli chutney.

Chutneys are essentially ‘something edible’ boiled in a mix of sugary stuff and vinegary stuff. With some spice. I had a look on the web, at a recommended Jamie Oliver recipe, and the most excellent Forkd, but could find anything that matched my “needs” (aka limited supplies).

Picked, our tomatos yielded c250g and the chillies a wonderful 6g. I supplemented this harvest (ahem) with a pack of toms going mouldy in the fridge, some onions from the bottom of a bag from our hols, a fridge-burned stump of ginger root – and resorted to the shops for a couple of apples, some more vinegar and the sugar.

Rough ingredients were:

  • ‘leg’ of ginger, grated to a pulp
  • 4 tiny chillies
  • 4 small onions – overgrown shallot size
  • 2 apples, peeled, cored and chopped
  • 250g green toms, 450g squashy red ones
  • half pint malt vinegar
  • quarter pint of balsamic vinegar
  • 500g (ish) of brown sugar
  • Few handsful of raisins or sultanas.

Recipe is easy. Blend, bash, grate or mouli everything till it looks the way you like. Toss it all in a pan. Boil until it’s about the consistency you like and then transfer to short-term accommodation or preserving jars.

Recipe amendments would be:

  • swap the ratios of balsamic and malt vinegars
  • caremelise the onions before adding to the tomato mix
  • less sugar
  • add in some lemon juice or use tarter apples
  • one more chilli.

It was a good fun activity for a raining Saturday afternoon with the kids.

Next year it’s time to get a mulberry bush or a gooseberry bush (to be grown in a large pot). Thoughts/advice on either gratefully received, either in the comments or by email.