Thursday, November 2, 2023

Green Tomato Harvest Ideas: Chutney

Now that I am learning about native plants and reading people like Doug Tallamy, I let my plants stand and die in their spots.

They provide homes for insects and food for other critters over winter. In the spring, they are reduced sufficiently to break down into soil or something - it must be easy because I don't have a memory of any hard work associated with them in the spring. 

So I had green tomatoes right up until frost. My husband brought in my huge bread bowl full. They are very versatile!

You can make salsa verde, to eat fresh or can. You can make green tomato curry or dhal (google for recipes), or you can chop them up and freeze them as is, no blanching required, to make that recipe in the future. You can pickle them as fridge pickles or to can if you don't have fridge space. And yesterday, I used a bunch to make chutney. 

I got the idea from my old Mennonite cookbook, Mennonite Community, that has green tomato pie which closely mimics apple pie. I have an apple chutney recipe I love, so I researched a bit and decided I could use green tomatoes instead of apples in my recipe. It worked GREAT. 

I did taste it at the end of cooking, tweaking the taste with a bit of salt and a few more sprinkles of cumin and chili powder. We'll eat this chutney next to Indian dishes this winter, with naan or with rice and curry. 

My freezers are full to the brim, so I was glad for a canning method for the green tomatoes. I think I'll can some pickles next. 

Green Tomato Chutney, adapted from Simply in Season

Combine in large pot, preferably wide:

12 cups finely chopped green tomatoes (I use my food processor)

1 1/2 cups chopped onion

4 cloves garlic, chopped

1 cup raisins

2-3" piece ginger root, minced

2 1/2-3 cups dark brown sugar

1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

2 tsp. ground coriander

1 tsp. ground cloves

1 1/2 tsp. yellow mustard seed

1 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper

1/4 tsp. black pepper

1 1/2 tsp. chili powder

1 1/2 tsp. ground cumin

1 1/2 tsp. cumin seeds

1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp. ground cardamom

Bring to a boil, covered. Then reduce heat and simmer until softened, thickened, and will mound slightly on a spoon. Keep covered if the mixture is not very liquid-y, or remove lid to evaporate some liquid (depends on the green tomatoes - mine were on the dry side). Stir occasionally for up to 1 hour. To can, process in pints or half-pints in boiling water bath, 15 minutes for half-pints, 20 minutes for pints.