Take a bite
The official end to summer is so close I can almost feel the flu symptoms coming on. It is always such a sad time of year for me, there is nothing I love more than the crisp warm sunshine beaming on my skin, the plentiful tasty summer fruits and the bountifulness of my veggie patch (if I've bothered to look after it).
This year I decided to plant a few different varieties of tomatoes, and surprising a lot of the fruit and plants survived the Victorian heat wave that hit a few weeks ago. I continually harvested tomatoes, and despite my best efforts to incorporate them in as many recipes as possible from pasta's to pizza and at one point as a breakfast item, I still ended up with too many to know what to do with. So I thought long and hard, how can I tap into this summer flavour even when the months begin to cool? What better way then a chutney! I could have it in sauces as a flavour base, on sandwich's as a flavour enhancer, on the side of roast dishes....hmmmm yummm...roast potatoes topped with this sweet goodness and a little sour cream would taste phenomenal! But my favourite is by itself on a piece of toast.
Sweet Onion and Tomato Chutney
I have three varieties of tomatoes in my garden at the moment, the ever popular Apollo, the new and sexy Black Russian and the true stayers and hard to kill cherry tomatoes. I really like the Black Russian's, even though they are becoming more popular now, its still a little bit exciting to see a rich dark red ripe tomato, and even when they are still "green", if you can call it that, they are still fully flavoured.
Black Russian's and Apollo Tomatoes, getting ready for the chop!
So I set out to find a recipe. At first I thought I could kill two stones with one bird*, I could find a recipe from one of the top 100 and I could get rid of my over supply of tomatoes. Surely someone would have published a tomato chutney recipe from a renowned restaurant, in all the places I looked, I could not find one. So I resorted to mashing a few different things from here or there. So this is what I came up with.
Makes one very large jar.
1-1.5 kilo of fresh tomatoes, of any variety.
1 large onion, sliced into small wedges
6cm piece of fresh ginger, grated
6-10 cloves of garlic (depending on how "garlicky" you want it), grated
1 cup of red wine vinegar
1 1/4 cup of white sugar
Salt and pepper to taste
Optional chilli flakes for a bit of wham!
1. Peel tomatoes. Very easy to do, but if you need a step by step method, this is a great guide. I didn't bother peeling the cherry tomatoes, because.....I'm not CRAZY!
2. Chop tomatoes into large chunks, I left my cherry tomatoes whole.
I love the mixture of colors
3. Throw all ingredients into a large heavy based pan and bring to the boil over medium heat. Turn the heat down and simmer uncovered for approximately 3 hours. At the beginning of the process they need very little stirring, in fact the less the better, this way your chutney will remain chunky. When it begins to get thicker and start to resemble thick honey, it will require a little more attention and some stirring. Continue to cook until the mixture is as thick as you desire, usually once it can thickly coat the back of a spoon.
4. Turn off the heat and let it cool completely. Transfer to a sterilized jar and store in the fridge.
The day after I made the chutney, I made a grilled veggie sandwich with the full intention to take a photo of the accomplishment. But in the time between making the sandwich and getting the camera, the sandwich got eaten. Sometimes these things happen.
*That saying is right, and I WILL NOT be told otherwise!