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Green Tomato Chutney, final picks of the seasons garden

Green Tomato Chutney

A long and bountiful summer garden it has been. Plucking off the last of the producing plants fruit and vegetable stems before yanking out the assorted roots and shaking off the clumps mixed between flying specks of rich, dark soil has a certain finality to it, one too, not without a bit of sadness. Still, clearing the soil bed for next year’s preparation makes one look toward new possibilities in another season ahead. 

While there is a certain freedom in having a bit of a break in consistent tending of the ground, there is a loss of freedom too, that of spontaneously picking what you like fresh anytime, and preparing the most simple of meals, to now, transitioning back to a greater dependence on the market.

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One filled metal wired garden basket of ingredients remains, except deciding on something special to prepare, a final batch of round stemmed green fruits easily fallen off of the well- worn twisted branches whose leaves had begun to brown and crumple like cracked old parchment, with these we have Green Tomato Chutney, final picks of the seasons garden.

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One fruit I shall never tire is the tomato and so I will miss those plants the most. Green tomatoes early on or late in the season provide some tasty options but I happened upon this recipe from Bob’s cousin Pat visiting from Florida a few weeks back.

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The conversation on our days gathering was ripe with gardening stories, mostly due to being at the vacation home of Bob’s sister Maryann, and her husband Joe, who for years, having a lot of ground set on an old farm house in Chester county, are sort of unofficial master gardeners on extensive fruit and vegetable varieties. Earlier in the week, Joe had made a harvest visit from the shore house returning back with what appeared like bushels upon our arrival, all decoratively set upon the wood dining table and light colored counter-tops filling assorted sized glass bowls and trays. Chatting over plates of sliced and whole assorted picks accompanied with dip inspired the topic of possibilities for using up the final green tomatoes, with Cousin Pat encouraging today’s delicious Green Tomato Chutney using a recipe that she “didn’t make up” but had been happy to pass along upon her return to The Sunshine State. 

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Similar to many recipes passed along there was no author named, but it worked out in its ease of adaptability as there were other fresh picked ingredients and changed out spice combinations that I preferred to use, including the addition of a few remaining jalapeno peppers off the deck planter, and from the back garden, one sweet red pepper, and two golden yellow varieties. I also used a cinnamon stick, Chinese five spice powder, and a type of spicier ground red pepper from the Indian market nearby. I’ve also changed out the recipe amounts due to having a bit more volume but you can halve the amount or pretty much be creative with your own final garden pickings. This combination is delicious. The relish is versatile and I’ve used it here topping the final piece of sea trout from the field hockey dad’s annual fishing expedition in Maryland, but Cousin Pat indicated the Green Tomato Chutney was great with pork or chicken. Ladled into ball jars tied with a bit of raffia also makes a nice fall gift for neighbors to use up as well. You might also decide to ‘can’ preserve the mixture, but for this route, I always recommend seeking out the advice of the canning experts, in this case, mainly just to insure the proper acidity balance. Marissa McClellan or Ball Jars website are both good sources in this genre.

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I couldn’t help but hold back a few final green tomatoes that I thought would make a nice little snack lightly coated and fried with some spicy roasted red pepper sauce which we can share on another day. A sort of way on extending the final summer treasures, after all, there is a bit of sadness at the end of the garden picking season, but then there is always plenty to look forward towards in simple delights of the seasonal cycles ahead.

Green Tomato Chutney
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Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
2 hr
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
2 hr
Ingredients
  1. 2 pounds green tomatoes, cored, chopped fine
  2. 1 red onion, chopped
  3. 2 cloves garlic, chopped fine
  4. 3 jalapeno peppers, seeded, chopped
  5. 1 red pepper, seeded, chopped
  6. 2 golden yellow peppers, seeded, chopped
  7. 1 cinnamon stick
  8. 1 inch piece fresh ginger, peeled, chopped
  9. 1/2 teaspoon red chili powder
  10. 1/2 teaspoon Chinese five spice powder
  11. 1/2 cup golden raisins
  12. 1/2-3/4 cup packed brown sugar, more or less to desired sweetness
  13. couple pinches coarse kosher salt, or to taste
  14. few grinds cracked black pepper
Instructions
  1. Add ingredients into a large nonreactive saucepan, bring to a boil on medium heat. Reduce heat to low and continue simmering for around an hour and a half, stirring occasionally, until chutney is well cooked together resembling a relish.
Adapted from from Cousin Pat in Florida
Adapted from from Cousin Pat in Florida
Spiced Peach Blog http://spicedpeachblog.com/

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4 Comments

  1. Posted October 13, 2015 at 4:05 pm | Permalink

    I love chutney with fish or meat; I gravitate toward the fruity ones. What does green tomato taste like? I have never had it, but I know people like them. It’s kind of sad that the summer harvest has ended, but I am loving the fall root vegetables. Have a great week, Peggy.
    Kelly recently posted…The Bridge of Flowers in Shelburne Falls Massachusetts: A New England GemMy Profile

    • Posted October 14, 2015 at 10:29 am | Permalink

      Hi Kelly, the green tomato has a bit of a tart taste, but then once combined with other ingredients they transform into this unique balance of tart, sweet, and then the touch of spice, its lovely. I’ve not dug too deeply into the root vegetables as yet, and I never remember a time when I’ve clung so tightly to the remains of the summer season. Of course, I’ve also been preparing Korean foods and some among those that we are preparing in our semester class at Drexel which I love… though I am admittedly beginning to feel the age working so hard in a restaurant kitchen for so many hours on the hard floors, lol.

  2. Posted October 22, 2015 at 7:46 pm | Permalink

    You definitely made the most of the summer foods season with all your great recipes and pictures here. I’m not much of a cook but do dabble a bit. I even know that there is no substitute for fresh greens and veggies.
    Phil recently posted…Days like this make you wish you had stayed in bed!My Profile

    • Posted October 26, 2015 at 9:05 am | Permalink

      Hi Phil, great to see you as I wrap up these particularly hectic months of September and October! Hope all is well, and thanks so much on the Green Tomato Chutney which is indeed a delicious! I shall miss the summer garden but look forward to the bounty of the season ahead!

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  • Hi, I'm Peggy. Welcome to our Shared Table at Spiced Peach Blog!
    Subscribe here for my fresh, seasonal recipes with an international twist.