Sweet & Spicy Heirloom Tomato Chutney

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By Francesca Patterson

Local heirloom tomato season is at its peak right now, and it may be the best part of the summer. While these tomatoes are fantastic to eat raw, you may also want to preserve their flavor. Say goodbye to boring condiments and hello to a homemade topping that beats the rest. If you’ve never heard of chutney before, it is simply a savory relish-like condiment from Indian cuisine. I experienced it first when visiting my family in Ontario, Canada, where one can find a substantial influence from Indian food. This recipe is my take on the ones I have tried and fallen head over heels for. Now, a jar of this type of relish is a staple in my fridge.

The main components usually include a vegetable, herb, or nut combined with vinegar, salt, and spices. This makes for a complex and flavorful item to bring to a table and pair with many different foods. My favorite way to eat this is with naan or a savory pastry. It also goes excellently with rice bowls and meat. My recipe will keep in the fridge for up to a week. If you have a tried and true canning method, please feel free to use this to keep your jar in the fridge for longer. Try this yourself for an easy and delicious way to savor the local heirloom season!

Ingredients:

  • 5 lbs of heirloom tomatoes
  • One red onion (chopped)
  • One serrano or jalapeno pepper (chopped, seeds optional for extra spice)
  • 1/2 cup of white vinegar
  • dash of sea salt & black pepper
  • 1/2 cup of sugar
  • 1/4 tsp allspice

Directions:

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add your tomatoes, letting them cook for about 30 seconds or until the skins start to split. Remove with a slotted spoon and place into an ice bath immediately. Drain the ice water and peel the skins off the tomatoes.
  2. Add your peeled tomatoes to a food processor and pulse until they are chopped but still chunky.
  3. In a saucepan, begin cooking your onions for about 2 minutes or until fragrant. Add in your tomatoes and the rest of your ingredients. Taste for salt & pepper
  4. Bring all of this to a boil on medium heat. Maintain the simmer on medium heat, uncovered, for about 1-1.5 hours or until the chutney has reduced to about half and is a thick, jam-like consistency.
  5. This makes about 3-4 cups of chutney. Store in tightly sealed glass jars and use within a week. If preferred, seal with canning methods of your choosing.

Photo reference for tomato skin splitting: