Friday, October 21, 2011

Green Tomato and Apple Chutney

Is this a familiar sight in your garden right now? Summer came late to Seattle, and as a result we have green tomatoes ... lots of them. I usually have only a few left at the end of the season so I just toss them in a paper bag to ripen in a cool spot. This year, I decided it was time to make something with these green beauties. I’m familiar with fried green tomatoes (and loved the movie by the same name!), but wanted to discover a new way of enjoying them. Enter chutney!

At the library, I recently found a book called Preserved. The title says it all. The authors share techniques and recipes for preserving food by salting, drying, smoking, pickling, fermenting, freezing, canning, or using sugar or alcohol. Chutney falls under the sugar category, along with jams, jellies, curds and compotes.

This green tomato chutney is adapted from a recipe I found in Preserved. The house smelled warm and spicy while the chutney simmered on the stove, and although chutney’s flavor improves over time, we found it to be delicious right out of the pot. I’ve tucked a jar away to taste in a month, and have one open in the fridge to eat now. With the green tomatoes and apples in this chutney, it’s a very autumn-like condiment.

I can also tell you that the chutney makes a marvelous lunch when slathered on hearty bread with a thick slice of sharp cheddar cheese, eaten by a window dripping with rain drops. It would also be a welcome addition on your holiday table.

Green Tomato and Apple Chutney
Adapted from Preserved
By Nick Sandler and Johnny Acton
Makes 2 pints

1 1/2 pounds green tomatoes, cut into 2 inch chunks (or halved or quartered if smaller)
Olive oil to drizzle
1 1/2 pounds apples, cored and cut into 1 inch chunks (you can leave the peels on)
2 inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and very finely chopped
1 medium onion, diced
1/2 cup malt vinegar
3/4 cup cider vinegar
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
8 ounces brown sugar
6 small dried chiles
1/2 cup currants
1 tablespoon mustard seeds
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Turn on your broiler and raise a rack to the top shelf in your oven. On a rimmed baking sheet, toss the green tomatoes with a little bit of olive oil. Broil them until they begin to blacken at the edges and turn golden, stirring a couple of times. Remove from the oven.

In a large pot, mix together the rest of the ingredients and add the green tomatoes. Stir to combine. Bring the mixture to a boil and then lower the heat and simmer for 2 hours, stirring occasionally. I covered my pot for about 1 1/2 hours, then uncovered and mashed the tomatoes and apples a bit. I kept the pot uncovered to thicken more for the last half hour. Watch to be sure it doesn’t begin to stick or burn on the bottom. Lower the heat if necessary.

When cool, ladle into 2 pint jars and cover. The chutney will keep in the fridge for up to 3 months unopened, and 6 weeks once opened.


  1. Such a great use for all those green tomatoes! I also love fried green tomatoes - both the food and the movie :-) - but this is a wonderful, healthier (!) alternative.

  2. This looks wonderful! I only had about 6 tomatoes this year. The dreary weather coupled with the slugs and the fact that I live in the darkest pit of the darkest corner of the Seattle area meant I didn't get much of a crop. But next time I see green tomatoes at the market, I'm all over this!

  3. Oh wow! I love this! I just bookmarked it to make. Thanks!!

  4. I do love a little green tomato chutney, have a great recipe from my Mum that always goes down a treat, especially with a nice wedge of cheddar. I like how your recipe has a little heat from the chillies.

  5. Yum! I made a very similar chutney yesterday but used fresh chiles instead of dried (we had some left over from the garden). I love that you used a few types of vinegars. That must create a very interesting taste. I'll try that next time.

  6. We had exactly the opposite problem weather-wise, but much the same results. Our summer practically started in May and we had day after day of 100+ degree temps, so everything died. I got in a teeny tiny fall planting and now I'm wondering if the first frost will hit before everything has matured!

    This chutney looks right up my alley. Paul for some odd reason hates the word "chutney," but has no issue with eating it, so I'll just call this something else! Savory compote, maybe? :-)

  7. @katherinemartinelli
    Thank you, Katherine! I still have more green tomatoes waiting, so I may end up making fried green tomatoes after all!

  8. @B
    Thank you, B! Given our chilly, late summer, I'm sure you'll be seeing quite a few green tomatoes in the market. I hope you enjoy the chutney!

  9. @Mairi
    Thanks, Mairi! So nice you have your Mom's recipe!

    I think next time I'll increase the chiles here a bit since I like spice.

    Mmm, your chutney must be delicious, Karen! Fun to try different varieties. I still have lots of green tomatoes (and just saw that I'm getting more in my CSA box tomorrow) so I'll be making more chutney and will try fresh chiles next.

  11. @Lauren
    I remember your hot summer, Lauren (and was envious as I shivered in a sweater here). I hope you're able to make some savory compote! :)

  12. Replies
    1. A few additional comments:
      1. Try this with lousy store-bought tomatoes in the middle of winter. Just use very firm ones.
      2. I didn't have malt vinegar - used more cider. Still delicious!
      3. Try starting out with 1/2 the salt and adjust seasoning 1/2 way through cooking.
      Thanks for a great recipe! I'm making another batch tonight!

    2. Thank you, Sandra! I'm delighted you like the chutney and really appreciate your feedback. I still have some green tomatoes lingering on the vine so need to pluck them and make some chutney. Thank you for your comments. :)

  13. We made this chutney today, using green tomatoes from our garden (needed to thin the fruits on the vine a little). It has a wonderful flavor and I know we will make it again and again! I have to say, however, that we got four pints from this recipe -- we weighed and measured all ingredients and cooked it down to the proper consistency. A little unexpected bonus, I suppose!

    1. I'm happy you enjoyed this chutney, Penelope! And that it made twice as much for you - definitely a nice bonus. :) I appreciate you letting me know. I usually wait to make this in the fall with tomatoes that haven't turned yet, so I love that you could make it earlier from thinning your plants. I'll keep that in mind! I hope you're enjoying a wonderful summer.

  14. Is the tomatoe skin to be removed after broiling?

    1. Hi Marilyn, the tomato skin does not have to be removed - just toss the broiled tomatoes into the pot with the rest of the ingredients. It all mixes together well. I hope you enjoy this chutney! I'm glad you stopped by.

  15. amazing it works so well and tastes soooo good I cant believe it!


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