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Thursday 15 October 2009


Turns out chutney is easy to make, lovely to eat, but boring to photograph. I had my suspicions.

The other downer about chutney is that you can't eat it right away; it needs to mature. Boring! I feel, though, that I should post this now, because it's what I used all of the remaining vegetables for (save the parsnips - they became a soup, made by Mr. Other P while I was in Rome). But I'll update towards the end of the year when we get to try some.

In addition to the onions, beetroot and pears, I decided it was time to use up my tomatoes. I call them mine, but really I think of them as my friend Rowanne's. She grew the plants, gave them to us (in exchange for a pumpkin vine), and then hers got blight. Which is very sad indeed, but I can't say that ours were entirely a success - they stayed green all Summer. So into the pot they went!

I made chutney last year and it was too spicy, so I tried to go easy on spicing this time. I chose ginger, because I thought it would be nice with the beetroot, and the sweetness from the pears, and I put some fennel in, too. That was actually a mistake though - I thought it was coriander seed. But fennel has quite a nice earthy taste, so it should be fine. There's no going back now, anyway.

Below is what I did. But you can put anything in a chutney, so don't worry about making substitutions.

Green Tomato and Beetroot Chutney

You will need:

750g beetroot, peeled and chopped
750g pears, peeled, cored and chopped
500g green tomatoes, chopped
500g Bramley apples, peeled, cored and chopped
500g onions, chopped
500g raisins
500g sugar
600ml cider vinegar
salt pepper

good chunk of fresh ginger, peeled and crushed
1 tsp cloves
1tbsp peppercorns
1 tsp coriander seeds
1tsp fennel seeds

  1. Put everything into a large (very large!) pan, and tie the spices together in a piece of muslin. Add the spice bag to the pan as well.
  2. Bring to the boil, and simmer very gently for about 4 hours. It will be thick and gooey when ready.
  3. That's it. Pour carefully into hot, sterilised jam jars (see here), and seal. Keep for a few months before using.

I got 3 big jars (the size you buy gherkins in), and one regular sized out of this. I think you'd be looking at 8 regular jars in total.

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