I love late summer/early autumn, don’t you?
The nights are cool, the days are warm and at the market stalls are heaving with the jewel tones of autumn: the deep purple of eggplant, the oranges of squash and pumpkins, and of course, the many different reds of the tomatoes. I hate to see tomato season end, so this time of the year for me is all about capturing them and keeping them hostage for the long winter ahead. For years, I’ve spent the dog days of summer furiously trying to capture the tomatoes before they disappear! I’ve frozen quantities of Bolognese Sauce and tomato soup, but last year I got on a chutney jag that included this amazing recipe from The British Larder for Tomato & Ginger chutney.
Chutney forces one to be patient. A good chutney needs to “set” at least three months while the ingredients…what do they do? Do they “CHUT?” I’m not sure — anyone out there know? In any case, I went to town, made a large batch and arranged them in the back of the refrigerator in early September and returned nervously to them in mid November. I was overjoyed with the results! This chutney is tangy and sweet, with just the right amount of zing! Chutney has so many uses, and these jars came out of the fridge to liven up chicken, as a particularly fun burger topping, in a panini, but I mainly like to pair it with cheese. Add a nice baguette from Volkhonsky and glass of wine and suddenly a snack becomes a meal!
This is much easier than it might seem, so pick up a kilo of tomatoes from the market and sock them away in the form of this delightful condiment. The snow will fly soon enough!
Tomato & Ginger Chutney
A Note on Sterilizing Jars in Moscow:
Moscow kitchens and pantries make a full blown canning operation impractical at best and impossible at worst. I store my chutney in the fridge at this time of the year, since finding that “cool, dark place” in my Moscow flat at this time of the year is nigh on impossible! If you can’t face Russian canning jars, cut a few corners by getting your “СЛУМ” jars with rubber rings at good old IKEA and sterilize them using this method:
If you enjoyed the Tomato & Ginger Chutney, why not try Persimmon Chutney as well!