You say tomato…I say see you next year!
I have to say that I am rather happy that the tomato-growing season is over for the year. Thanks to the gorgeous, un-August-like weather that parked itself over Oklahoma I harvested an enormous bounty of tomatoes that I sliced, cooked, marinated, roasted and pureed throughout the summer. But now, as autumn rolls in, my tomato plants have given up.
This past Saturday was one of the last weekends of the Cherry Street Farmers’ Market season here in Tulsa. It has become a tradition on Saturday mornings for my husband, son and I to stroll the market. I love to gather, while the boys stroll. Last week it was just Mr. Liam and I, and we had a grand time walking past all of the booths, still loaded with fresh produce. He pointed out things that he knew – (tomatoes, carrots, eggs, zucchini and cheese, among many others), and I introduced him to a few new ingredients (radishes, long beans and butternut squash). Thankfully, due to the amount of farmers growing gorgeous product nearby, we still have a fresh market in late October, and I was quite happy to still see cherry tomatoes of all colors. Since it was almost the end of the season, I selected mostly fall produce, and grabbed up a few bags of still-green tomatoes. I’m talking green on the vine, unripe tomatoes, not the squishy, ripe, green heirlooms (which I love as well!).
One of my favorite fall snacks is sharp cheddar on toast topped with tart and tangy chutney. I usually spoon it out of a jar of Branston Pickle from the UK, but I was feeling industrious and decided to make a batch of my own. Back in 2003, I wrote a story for Martha Stewart Living about green tomatoes, and this recipe is adapted from the one published in the magazine. The recipes from the original article all appear in the 2003 edition of Martha Stewart Living Annual Recipes.
As I said above, I love to serve this chutney over sharp cheddar or gruyere and toast or nutty crackers, but it is also delicious draped over roast pork or chicken, layered into a panini or even smeared, as a substitute for relish, on a grilled dog…the perfect end to summer, in my opinion!
- 4 pounds green tomatoes, diced
- 2 yellow bell peppers, seeded and diced
- 2 Vidalia or other sweet onion, diced
- 2 jalapeno peppers, chopped with seeds
- 1 cup golden raisins
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
- 1 ½ teaspoons yellow mustard seed
- ½ teaspoon fennel seed
- ½ teaspoon whole coriander seed
- ¼ teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
- 2 cups lightly packed brown sugar
- 2 cinnamon sticks (each about 3 inches long)
- ½ cup apple cider vinegar
- Pinch of sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Place all of the ingredients in a large saucepan and stir to combine. Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring until all of the sugar has dissolved. Lower the heat to a simmer, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the mixture has thickened, and most of the liquid has evaporated, about 1 hour.
- Remove and discard the cinnamon sticks and ladle chutney into sterilized canning jars, wiping up any excess from the rims with a clean paper towel. Place jars in a hot water bath (make sure they are completely covered) and boil for 15 minutes. Remove jars from water and set them aside to cool – the jars should seal within an hour. If there are any jars in which the lids didn’t suck down and seal, just refrigerate them and use those jars first. Store the unopened jars in a cool, dark place for up to 6 months.