Green Tomato Chutney

The tomato season is winding down around here as the days grow shorter. Our tomato plants are loaded with green, unripe tomatoes. Some may still get enough sunlight and warmth to turn red, but I’m thinking most will not. If you have garden tomatoes, I would love to hear what you do with the end-of-season green ones. My mother picks them and lets them ripen indoors. I like making fried green tomatoes, and I may yet try to make a mock apple pie made with green tomatoes. Other ideas?

This chutney is one way to make excellent use of them. We love chutney with baked chicken or pork chops. The chutney would work as a relish for hot dogs, a side for crab cakes, or topping a little cream cheese on a cracker for an appetizer.

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  • Prep: 15 minutes
  • Cook: 1 hour
  • Yield: Makes 6 8-ounce jars, or 3 pint jars.

These instructions include instructions for canning the chutney. If you plan on storing in the refrigerator and using up within a few months, you can skip the sterilization and canning steps (steps 1 and 4).

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 pounds firm green tomatoes, about 7 cups, cored and chopped
  • 1 1/4 cups brown sugar, packed
  • 1 cup chopped red onion
  • 1 cup golden raisins
  • 1 cup cider vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp chopped candied ginger
  • 1 Tbsp mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon chili pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • Pinch of ground nutmeg
  • 3 pint jars or 6 8-ounce jars for canning

Method

1 Sterilize the jars and lids. Place a steamer rack in a large (16 quart) pot, and place the jars on the rack. Fill the jars and the pot with water up to the rim of the jars. If you don't have a rack you can place a clean dish towel at the base of the pot. You want to prevent the glass jars from touching the bottom of the pot which can get quite hot and cause the glass to crack. Put the burner on high and heat until a rolling boil. Boil for 10 minutes. To sterilize the lids, place them in a bowl and pour boiling water over them.

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2 Place all of the ingredients in a medium sized (about 4 qt) thick-bottomed pot. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Cover and cook for 45 minutes. Taste and adjust seasonings.

3 Remove the jars from the pot of hot water (reserving the water if you plan to can for shelf storage.). Scoop the green tomato chutney into the jars, filling them to 1/4 of an inch from the rim. Wipe the rims with a clean wet paper towel. Place sterilized lids on the jars. Secure with canning rings.

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4 Place the filled jars back in the pot of hot water. Make sure the jars are covered with an inch of water. Bring to a boil and process for 15 minutes, or 20 minutes if you are at altitudes between 1000 and 6000 feet. Remove the jars from the pot and place on a dish towel spread out on your counter. Allow the jars to cool completely. The jar lids should make a popping sound as they seal. If a lid doesn't seal for some reason, store the jar in the refrigerator.

Main Ingredients

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