Here they are. Fifteen pounds of the prettiest tomatoes I’ve ever grown. It hit about 20 degrees last night and even with a double layer of frost cloth the poor plants couldn’t take it.
Well almost. There were still some thriving leaves on the massive Cherokee Purple growing out from under the equally massive lavender plant in the corner of my upper garden. That tomato is so well rooted that I couldn’t yank it out of the ground like I did the others. Instead I buried it in a layer of properly poopy chicken straw. Who knows? It might actually survive the winter. Tomorrow I make Green Tomato Chutney.
Why tomorrow? Because Ed’s in Phoenix all day. He cannot stand the smell of this stuff cooking. He claims it stinks like old sweaty tennis shoes.
Funny how something that smells that bad can taste great and so completely differently than it smells. This chutney is great on mild cheeses, good on pork roast and makes a really great pan-cleaning sauce on sauteed chicken. The original recipe came from the Moosewood Cookbook, one of my mainstays while I was vegetarian.
Green Tomato Chutney (makes about a quart or 4 8oz glass jars worth)
- 2 lbs green tomatoes, chopped
- 2 tbsp fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 tsp mustard seed
- 1 tsp ground cumin (the source of the tennis shoe smell)
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 cup honey
- 1 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 cayenne pepper (or other spicy pepper), minced and seeded if desired
Combine all the ingredients in a pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer one hour stirring occasionally. Open the windows while it cooks or your eyes will water. This is chutney. The high acid content means that it will keep in a glass jar in your refrigerator for a very long time. To store it outside of the refridge, process it in a water bath, keeping it at boiling for about twenty minutes.
This is an after the fact note–twelve pounds of tomatoes makes more Green Tomato Chutney than any family (except, perhaps, an East Indian family who eats chutney with their rice every night) will use in a year or two or three. Maybe we need to eat more rice?