No Tomato Left Behind
I’ll admit it – I’m a Tomato Glutton! I’ve never met a tomato I didn’t enjoy, and during the summer I generally have a big bowl of orange “Sun Gold” cherry tomatoes on my counter for snacking. I love making tomato pies, various tomato salads and just munching on them throughout the day. When I go to the local Farmers Market, the wide variety of tomato colors reminds me of a new box of crayons and just makes me smile! I have to force myself to be reasonable and not purchase the entire lot.
But all good things must come to an end. Autumn has arrived and the days are getting shorter and cooler. Many gardeners find that green tomatoes still cling to the vines with little hope of ripening in the chilly weather.
Last week my son gave me ALL the rest of the tomatoes hanging on the vines in his garden. There were many varieties and many different sizes, but they all had one thing in common…. They were all GREEN and they weren’t going to ripen. It was, needless to say, quite the Green Tomato Day at my house. I felt like I was cooking in some sort of Dr. Seuss book. I made Fried Green Tomatoes (which I absolutely LOVE), a big batch of Green Tomato Relish (good – but I’m not a big relish fan) and also a batch of Green Tomato Chutney. The chutney was phenomenal - and I’m happy to share the recipe here with you – remember, no tomato left behind!
One of my favorite ways to enjoy the chutney is tucked into a simple grilled ham n’ cheese sandwich or heaped onto huevos rancheros. It’s got just the right balance of tartness and sweetness to be a very versatile condiment. It’s even delicious on crab cakes or as a topping for pork chops. I’m sure this will become your go-to recipe for using up end-of-season tomatoes every year!
Green Tomato Chutney
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 large onion, diced (preferable a sweet Vidalia onion)
6 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
2 teaspoons whole mustard seeds
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 tablespoon ground cumin (preferable toasted cumin, which has a more complex flavor)
5 medium green tomatoes, quartered and thinly sliced
1/2 cup cider vinegar
1/2 cup sugar
Salt, white pepper, and cayenne pepper, to taste
Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over low heat. Add the onion and sauté for 5 minutes until the onion begins to soften. Add the garlic, coriander, mustard, and cumin, stir well, and continue cooking on low heat until the onions begin to turn golden, about 8 to 10 minutes. Be careful not to let the onions and garlic burn or turn brown or they will become bitter.
Add the green tomatoes, vinegar, and sugar and gently combine. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes are softened but still retain their shape, about 20 minutes.
You may season the chutney, to taste, with a little salt and white pepper. If you’d like to give it some more spice, add a pinch of cayenne pepper.
This recipe makes about 4 cups of chutney which will last in the fridge for several weeks. If you would like to store it longer, it may be canned by following appropriate canning instructions.