There’s nothing better than ripe, juicy tomatoes from the garden. Store bought tomatoes just don’t compare. So I plant tomatoes in my garden each spring. In 2012, I thought I had covered the tomatoes with netting to prevent the birds, squirrels and possums from eating them. But something still got to the tomatoes and I watched in disbelief as one by one the tomatoes disappeared. It was too much to think that all my tomatoes would vanish, so I picked everything — red ones and green ones.
What could I do with all these tomatoes, I pondered? And I remembered my mother’s relish that she canned very summer. I located the recipe, which turned out to be from my grandmother Heisey. Sure enough, the chutney was made from green tomatoes.
This chutney has turmeric and mustard seeds as ingredients – giving it a zing – as well as green tomatoes, apples, red and green peppers, celery and onions. Ingredients can be varied according to what you have available. The chutney is delicious on hamburgers and hot dogs. My batch was a little mushy–it was excellent spread on crackers and cream cheese.
This recipe calls for the tomatoes and vegetables to be ground up. They should have a course consistency. I used a food processor and had difficulty getting the vegetables chopped up evenly. They turned out pureed. An old-fashioned meat grinder (plentiful on E-Bay) is what we used to grind the vegetables when I was growing up. There’s also a food grinder attachment that goes on a Kitchen Aide mixer.
You will also need canning jars, seals and rings and a canner. The chutney is canned in a hot water bath – not difficult — all these things should be available locally. Plan to spend an afternoon on this activity. It’s worth it!
This my brother’s chutney processing event — he lives in Boston and needed to pick the remaining tomatoes earlier in October before the first frost came.
Grandmother Heisey’s Green Tomato Chutney
24 green tomatoes (6 cups ground)
6 onions (2 cups ground)
3 red peppers (2 cups ground)
3 green peppers (2 cups ground)
2 small hot peppers, ground, optional
12 apples, tart (such as Granny Smith), (6 cups ground)
2 cups celery, ground
3 cups vinegar
3 cups sugar, brown and white
1 Tbsp salt
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp. ground mustard
- Mix all ingredients in large non-reactive pot. Cook on low heat until thick, about one hour. Sir occasionally so the relish does not stick.
- Fill clean, hot empty pint jars (or 1/2 pint jars). Process in canner for 10 minutes in boiling water bath, according to manufacturer’s directions. Makes approx 12 pints–I’m guessing here.
Curtis’s variation : 6 cups green tomatoes, 1 large green pepper, 1 large red pepper, 2 large yellow onions, 3 stalks celery, 4 peeled and cored medium size apples, 2 tsp Dijon mustard, 1 tsp celery seed, 1 tsp turmeric, 2 tsp salt, 2 cups vinegar, 1/2 cup white sugar, 1/2 cup brown sugar. Mix in large non-reactive stock pot. Stir well. Bring to boil, reduce head and simmer 20 minutes. Process or refrigerate. Makes six 1-pint jars.
If you are new to canning, there are books and resources available on the internet. Download US Dept Agriculture, Home and Garden Bulletin #92 which gives canning instructions. It’s old but still has the essential information for canning pickles and chutney. http://agnic.msu.edu/gsdl/collect/usda/index/assoc/HASH5857.dir/doc.pdf