I need a lot of sympathy, because this summer, I got no ripe tomatoes. Exactly….NONE! Zip, zilch, nada.
I had a vegetable garden full of luxuriant plants, all with tomatoes on them, and the weather was sufficiently cold and foggy for so much of the summer that they never ripened.
The squirrels, raccoons and other creatures got a few of them (you’re welcome critters!), but still, there I sat, at the end of summer, sad and pathetic, with a garden full of hard green tomatoes as fall descends.
What’s a gardening girl to do with unripe tomatoes?
Green Tomato Chutney!
This one is from chef Melissa Fernandez, who ran the pizza oven at Chez Panisse restaurant for six years, and was featured in the New York Times earlier this month as part of a story on a 36-hour dinner party.
They ate some crazy-interesting stuff at this rollicking party, and the Green Tomato Chutney made an appearance dolloped on, get this – sautéed porcini on a bed of blanched amaranth greens, over which an egg was cracked, then drizzled with cream and baked in the oven. When out of the oven, it got a dollop of green-tomato chutney and a dusting of dukkah, an Egyptian spice-and-nut blend.
I would definitely eat that for breakfast if it were served to me, but I won’t be making it in this lifetime, so in the Shockinglydelicious kitchen, we’re eating the Green Tomato Chutney with any roasted meats we have around (chicken, sausage, pork chops, try it as the relish on a hot dog!), on quesadilla triangles, and as a general condiment when something needs perking up.
It is not unlike the Spiced Peach Chutney we dearly love, and it has virtually the same spice/flavor profile.
- 1 pound green tomatoes, chopped
- 1/2 medium white onion, chopped
- 1/2 cup golden raisins
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup apple cider vinegar
Simmer all ingredients in a small covered saucepan for 30 minutes. Remove lid to cool; excess moisture will evaporate during this time.
Shockinglydelicious observation: As soon as you put the allspice in here, stir it and give it a sniff. You will immediately understand what the “spice” is in Heinz ketchup.
Source: New York Times, from chef Melissa Fernandez.
Serve it with:
- roast chicken
- grilled sausage
- pork chops
- as the relish on a hot dog
- cheese quesadilla triangles
- as a general condiment when something needs perking up
And just to rub it in further, my brother sent over this photo of a typical August 2010 day’s harvest from his tomato plants in New York. Yeah, even New York had better weather than we did!