Approx cost: €3
Approx calories (per tablespoon): ~30
Approx preparation time: 120 minutes
Horror of horrors, I recently ran out of chutney in the house from my previous batch. As a firm chutney lover (seriously, I could eat it with a spoon!) I knew I would have to remedy this situation, but I wanted to try something a bit different. My neighbour gave me some courgettes from her nephew’s garden, exclaiming “tien, j’en ai marre de courgettes!” (here, take them, I’m fed up with courgettes). Taking one look at her kitchen I could see why. It seems she had been given quite literally a year’s supply. She was busy steaming, blanching, and freezing them – even having to shove errant bags of sliced courgette into her tiny ice-box. I wasn’t really in the mood for courgettes, but I’m never one to turn down free, home-grown produce so I started wondering if maybe I could transform them into a chutney. After that my eyes crossed over to the table where I had a large tray of nectarines which hadn’t ended up being quite as sweet as I’d hoped they would be when I purchased them, and a basket full of tired, wrinkled, old apples from a few weeks ago and my mind was set!
Despite using “unwanted” fruit and vegetables, I think this was my most successful chutney to date. Just the right amount of spice and tartness, a wonderful background sweetness – best of all, I was fully expecting the nectarine to collapse into fibrous pulp and disappear in the chutney mass during the cooking, but when it was all done there were beautiful, spicy little chunks of the fruit peeking through from behind the courgette. Definitely one to make again I think! Hope you’re all having a good day 🙂
– 2-3 Courgettes
– 4 Apples
– 5 ripe Nectarines or Peaches
– 2 good sized Onions
– 4-5 cloves of Garlic
– 0.5 litres Water
– 0.5 litres Red Wine Vinegar
– 130g Sugar
– 1 tbsp Salt
– 2 tbsp Curry Powder
– 1 tbsp Mustard Seeds
– 2 tsp Cayenne Pepper
– 1 tsp Ground Ginger
You’ll also need
– Canning Jars
- Start by washing the Courgettes and Apples. Peel and core the Apples and cut into small chunks, each about the size of a quarter to half a teaspoon, depending on how chunky you like your chutneys. Trim the ends from the Courgettes and cut lengthways into strips before cutting into similarly sized chunks. Place both in a large pan with the half a litre of water. Cover and bring to the boil. Simmer for 5 or 10 minutes or so until the apple is softening up.
- While the Apple and Courgette is softening, peel and finely chop (or roughly chop – again, it depends how you want the chutney to be!) the Onions. Cut the Nectarines or Peaches in half, and then in half again, twisting out and discarding the stone. If the fruit is ripe, you should be able to cut away gently from the top and then simply peel off the skin. Incidentally, yes, that is the knife that you can win here– obviously not that exact one though, this one’s mine!). Cut each Nectarine/Peach quarter into small chunks – about twice the size of the original Courgette/Apple chunks.
- Uncover the pot and add in the Nectarines and the Onions, as well as all the rest of the ingredients – Ginger, Curry Powder, Cayenne Pepper, Mustard Seeds, Sugar, Salt, and then slosh the Vinegar over the top. Stir well to mix and then cover and place on the heat. Bring to the boil, and then lower the heat slightly and simmer quite vigorously for about an hour.
- After this time, you should have something vaguely resembling this. Remove the lid and continue to simmer, now on a slightly lower heat, for about 30 minutes more, stirring and checking occasionally to ensure you don’t boil dry, and to ensure the contents of the pan don’t get cooked in to the bottom of the saucepan. While the chutney is reducing, wash the Canning Jars thoroughly. Place the jars, and their lids, upside down in a pre-heated oven at about 180 degrees Celsius for about 10-15 minutes to sterilise. Meanwhile, wash the rubber jar seals and place into a jug of boiling water (if using the type of jars which require seals). When the chutney has reduced a decent amount and is no longer “flooded” with liquid, carefully remove the Canning Jars from the oven and transfer the Chutney to the still hot jars. Fill to about 1cm from the top and place the tops on tightly immediately. If you’ve succeeded in canning the Chutney well and keeping the environment sterile, it can last for a very long time – many months, if not some years – in the jar, and it will mature and improve in flavour as time goes by.
- Once it’s cooled, have your chutney with cold meats, in a delicious sandwich, cheeses, salads – anyway you like! Enjoy!