We are delighted and very grateful for an abundant harvest of marrows and tomatoes (that just keep coming!). This is our latest harvest and we are preparing to make GLUTNEY: a simple, versatile recipe that can preserve various gluts of veg at harvest time. I learned the base of this recipe while working on an off-grid eco backpackers in rural Eastern Cape with a most dynamic Israeli sister when we had an overrun of green tomatoes – and the first frosts were fast approaching!! We made the most delicious green tomato chutney! Two years later (we made a LOT) guests at the backpackers were still raving about it and it has since become a staple.
This adaptation includes Marrows and you can also use other squash and pumpkin later in the season. You can also add sweet peppers to the tomatoes if they are on hand. Experiment with whatever you have in the garden, including herbs and spices.
The recipe below calls for large quantities but is also easy to adjust.
1kg courgettes, unpeeled if small, peeled if huge, cut into 1cm dice
1kg red or green tomatoes, scalded, skinned and roughly chopped (or 1kg plums, stoned and chopped)
1kg cooking or eating apples, peeled and diced
500g onions, peeled and diced
500g sultanas or raisins or cranberries
500g light brown sugar
750ml white-wine or cider vinegar, made up to 1 litre with water
1-3 tsp dried chilli flakes
1 tsp salt
For the spice bag:
1 thumb-sized nugget of fresh or dried ginger, roughly chopped
12 black peppercorns
1 tsp coriander seeds
1 tsp mustard seeds
sprig of fresh rosemary or thyme
Put the vegetables and fruit in a large, heavy-based pan with the sultanas or raisins, sugar, vinegar and water, chilli flakes and salt.
Make up the spice bag by tying all the spices in a square of muslin or cotton. Add the spice bag to the pan, pushing it into the middle.
Heat the mixture gently, stirring occasionally to dissolve the sugar, and bring slowly to the boil.
Simmer for 2-3 hours, uncovered, stirring regularly to ensure it does not burn on the bottom of the pan.
The chutney is ready when it is rich, thick and reduced, and parts to reveal the base of the pan when a wooden spoon is dragged through it. If it starts to dry out before this stage is reached, add a little boiling water.
Pot up the chutney while still warm (but not boiling hot) in sterilised jars with plastic-coated screw-top lids (essential to stop the vinegar interacting with the metal). Leave to mature for at least two weeks – ideally two months – before serving.
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