Green Tomato Chutney (When Mother Nature Won’t Cooperate)

by Dorothy Reinhold on October 23, 2010

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I need a lot of sympathy, because this summer, I got no ripe tomatoes. Exactly….NONE! Zip, zilch, nada.

Green Tomato Chutney

Whole lotta nice foliage

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.

Green Tomato Chutney

Why didn’t you turn red?

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.

Green Tomato Chutney

Dreaming of some actual sun, and some red

Green Tomato Chutney

Must admit, they do look pretty

Green Tomato Chutney

A quick chop and we’re ready…

Green Tomato Chutney

…for a 30-minute boil

Green-Tomato Chutney

  • 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

Green Tomato Chutney

Green Tomato Chutney

Can’t you hear my brother saying, ‘Neener neener!”


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!

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

SallyBR November 6, 2016 at 7:10 am

That sounds mighty good!!!!!

Thanks for the heads up!


Anders Svenson March 16, 2016 at 3:03 am

Wow, it looks so yummy and delicious. Thanks for sharing it.


Dorothy Reinhold March 16, 2016 at 1:07 pm

You’re welcome Anders. It was really good…a sweet and sour way to save the season.


Judith Culp November 15, 2015 at 10:02 am

I ended up with about 12 pounds of small roma style tomatoes – green. So my girlfriend and I tried this recipe. It tastes marvelous, but we found that it was significantly more runny than the picture. I think it might have been better to do the low simmer/boil without the lid on. We ended up putting it back on low heat and cooking it a couple of more hours to get it to render down to a nice thick consistency. 5 batches rendered us pints of chutney.


Nancy@acommunaltable October 24, 2010 at 1:22 pm

Well, I’ve heard of “making lemonade from lemons” but this is definitely better!! Your tomatoes were beautiful even if they weren’t ripe!! As you said, this chutney is definitely up my alley!!!
Bet this would be awesome with some fried green tomatoes too!!!


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