"You say tomaaahtoh, I say ... sauce!" "You say tomaaytoh, I say ... salad!" "You say tomato, I say ... chutney!" Then I'll say "STOP!" before you give me any more tomatoes!
I am seeing red right now - tomato red! My CSA box has been overflowing with lovely ripe tomatoes and my mother-in-law’s green house has been producing more tomatoes than she can harvest. Last weekend I found myself with something like 4 kilos of tomatoes
Not a bad thing really as they have an incredibly mellow and sweet flavor - just like organic and homegrown vegetables usually do. It's all the goodness in them that makes them taste so good and there was no way I was going to give them always.
After making tarts and salads, I turned my attention to sugo, ketchup and chutney. I spent a greater part of the previous weekend working my way through the tomatoes. I was extremely pleased with myself and my efficiency. I honestly dislike waste and when you have such excellent quality produce it’s always a pleasure to can, stew, freeze and preserve them in several different varieties. I know that come Winter we will enjoy the taste of summer again.
For this particular chutney I used simple ingredients from my pantry. I went for a slightly aromatic spiced flavor –not hot – just piquant, which complements the sweetness from the dried apricots and juicy tomatoes. Just a sprinkling of garam masala and this chutney peaks to new flavor levels.
Don’t ask me why I chose garam masala for the chutney, probably because it’s the first thing that came to hand or even maybe because it’s a surprise Indian spice mix which really has all the spice flavors I was thinking of, most probably it was due to the fact that I had recently grinded my own garam masala and I could still smell the wonderful mélange of cinnamon, cardamom, cumin, coriander, fenugreek to name a few spices.
As you see I am not calling it an Indian chutney nor is it an Indian inspired chutney simply because it has a sprinkling of an Indian spice in it. It’s just a pretty damn good tasting chutney – thick and chunky with lots of tomatoes, a handful of apricots, a crunchy pepper and plenty of onions.
The best thing about it is that it’s not too much of work. The most is peeling and de-seeding the tomatoes, but after that it just simmers in the pot to make one of the best chutneys I have had in a long time. The cool thing was I was not the only one who thought so!
Tomato Apricot Chunky Chutney
[Printable version of recipe here.]
400g onions, sliced
1 red bell pepper, cut into thin strips
100g dried apricots, cut into strips
1 tablespoon garam masala
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoon red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons honey mustard
- Peel the tomatoes. The easiest way to do this is gently score a shallow x on the bottom of the tomato. This helps to peel the tomato easily later. Bring a pot of water to a boil, then place the tomato/es for 30 seconds. As soon as you notice the skin peeling off remove the tomato/es and place it in a bowl of ice water. Allow it to rest until completely cooled, then peel. Cut it in half and with a small spoon scoop out the seeds. Discard seeds and peel.
- Cut the peeled and seeded tomatoes into quarters.
- Put the tomatoes, onions, apricots, bay leaves and red bell pepper in a large saucepan and turn the heat to high. Add sugar, garam masala and salt and bring to a boil, then turn the heat to medium and simmer, covered, for 40 minutes until the mixture thickens. Stir the mixture occasionally, scraping the bottom of the saucepan.
- Add vinegar and honey mustard and cook for another 5 minutes. Taste and season according to taste.
- Allow the chutney to cool completely, then fill in clean sterilized jars and refrigerate.
- The chutney will keep in the refrigerator in the jars for up to 2 months.
- This is a very versatile chutney and can be enjoyed with grilled meats like lamb or chicken, but it’s also great in sandwiches or on hamburgers and hot dogs.
- If garam masala is not your spice then use other spices and herbs you prefer. Try adding rosemary or thyme or smoky paprika powder. If you want to spice it up add a few drops of Tabasco sauce or add a finely chopped red/green chili into the saucepan while it’s simmering.
- Usually if the tomatoes are ripe and aromatic you will get a wonderful flavored, really red chutney, however, if you find the flavor needs a bit of spiking add about 1/2 tablespoon of tomato paste.
Food Guide Tips:
- How healthy are tomatoes?
- What is garam masala and how can I make my own spice blend?
I took a jar of the chutney to a friend’s place who had invited us to a barbecue. They were grilling lamb chops, zucchini marinated in herbs and garlic. The chutney complemented the meal incredibly. It’s tangy sweet flavors highlighted with the slight spiced mixture was just perfect. Between the four of us adults and 3 children we were easily able to polish off a whole jar!
This month my lovely guest hosts are the truly wonderful dynamic duo at Jugalbandi. They’ve come up with a really sensational theme this month and are pairing this event with their photography event Click.
Heirloom recipes are what you are required to create for this month’s challenge. Old vintage recipes that have endured the test of time. Head on over to Jugalbandi and get all the details. They’re even giving away a prize!
Deadline is September 20th.
As my tomato supply slowly diminishes I see my attention needs to be turned to plums and apples slowly piling up. I’ll probably be spending another weekend creating a few mouth-watering yummies with them.
Hope you all enjoy your weekend!
You might like these tomato sauces from WFLH:
|Roasted Tomato Sauce||Sun-dried Tomato and Tamarind Chutney||Tomatoes in Agrodolce|
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