Green Tomatoes Week: Tangy Chutney

Chutney is a well-loved relish here in Ireland, and is popular throughout the British Isles. Why not introduce it to your family? It’s easy to make, and is a great alternative to pickling or traditional canning for many vegetables. Here, I share my Green Tomato Chutney recipe.

Green Tomato Chutney

  1. Vollrath saucepans are available at or Lehman’s in Kidron, Ohio.

    Place a stainless steel pan on the stovetop, and pour a pint of vinegar and 8 oz. of sugar into the pan. Begin to heat the mixture gently over low heat.  ( You can use white sugar with cider or white wine vinegar. Once, I only had balsamic vinegar and brown sugar. In desperation, I used that and it worked fine, too!)

  2. Chop into bite-sized pieces:
    1 large cooking apple
    1 large onion
    1 bay leaf
    1 cinnamon stick
    1 clove of garlic, crushed and minced
    Add these to the warming vinegar and sugar mix.

This new Santoku knife and other Damascus steel knives are available at or at Lehman’s in Kidron, Ohio.

Start chopping your green tomatoes.  Begin with about a pound, and add the chopped tomatoes to the saucepan. Stir as the contents cook down gently. You may well be able to add more depending on the water content of the tomato.  You don’t want a sloppy chutney.

To add zing, finely grate about an inch of fresh ginger root, and add to the chutney mixture.  If you like your chutney a bit hotter, then grate in some more. Continue to cook the mixture down.

Here is where your taste buds rule. To add some chili flakes or a dash of chili sauce of not? That is the question. This is entirely up to your and your household’s preference.  The ginger will give you a bit of heat but is generally acceptable to people (children, conservative adults with delicate digestions) who run from chili.

At my house, we add the chili, and stir again.  The chutney will eventually cook down to a sort of jammy consistency.  At this point, you’re nearly ready to prepare to jar (can, for the US audience) the chutney.

Weck European-style canning jars are available at or at Lehman’s in Kidron, Ohio.

While the chutney cooks down, sterilize your jam jars in your preferred method. I like to wash them and then pop them in the oven to dry off at a very low heat.  The jar lids soak in boiling water; lift them out with a wooden spoon and place on clean kitchen paper to gently air dry. Remember that you can get different sized jars.

Also have some jam pot covers or use the jam jar lids as templates to cut out covers from greaseproof paper.

Back to the chutney. Once it has reached the desired consistency, remove the bay leaf and cinnamon stick. Begin to spoon the chutney into the hot jars.  Pop in a jam pot cover of greaseproof paper and put on the lid. Use a wide-mouth funnel if you must.

You can rely on Lehman’s for great info when you’re ready to can. Find this book and others at or Lehman’s in Kidron.

I recycle my glass canning jars and depending on the size, I need 4-6 jars ready for this size batch.

Refrigerate and use within seven days.

Editor’s Note: If you want to store your chutney over the winter, refer to The Ball Blue Book, The Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving or any of our food preservation books for specific directions.

About BeeSmith

I was born in Queens, N.Y, reared in Pennsylvania, did university in Washington, D.C. Then I moved to England for nineteen years. I lived first in London and then in Leeds. After my partner's sister died of cancer in 2000, we decided to take the leap of faith and move to Ireland to be nearer his family. Despite our friends thinking we were mad and feckless, it has worked out. The angels really do look after fools! We have a cottage on an acre and a quarter three miles from where the River Shannon rises. We have a polytunnel to grow vegetables and fruit organically, a small orchard of apple trees and plans to create a sacred space on the land over the rest of our lifetimes. We share our home with two tortoiseshell cats, Zelda and her daughter Zymina, and three dogs, Murphy, Pippin and Cara.

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