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!
How can anyone be fed up with courgettes???? I love courgettes and I could have them practically every day!
It looks like one of the most original chutneys I have ever seen! With my mind's and imagination's eyes I can see it tastes wonderful. Congratulations for the creativity and the success of the experiment!
Haha, I enjoy courgettes, in many forms, but I don't think I could eat them *every* day 😀 Speaking of "original" chutneys, my friend gave me a pot of "Rhubarb and Strawberry Chutney" recently which sounds truly different from any chutney I've ever encountered. I'm looking forward to cracking open the jar of that too!
So nice that you photograph your ingredients; we call courgette zucchini in Canada. And they grow like weeds here too! My sister-in-law used to make zucchini bread with her harvest! I adore chutney too; sweet, tart and salty! YUM!
Thanks Eva. Zucchini bread eh? That sounds great. How did she incorporate the zucchinis inside? Grating/Chopping/Slicing etc? Sounds like something I'd like to try!
I believe it was grated, Charles. It was sweet, not savory. I found this recipe that reads like it tasted…she hasn't made it for years, so I'm going by memory. http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/zucchini-bread-iv/de…
Don't you love when something comes together in a surprisingly great way?! This looks delicious. How do you like it compared to your last batch of chutney? I need to find neighbors with zucchini! 🙂 Have a good weekend Charles.
Hi Kristy – I think I prefer it to my last batch of chutney actually. The nectarine/peach has absorbed this incredible rich, spicy taste and gone slightly syrupy. The last stuff was good, but very basic compared to this! My neighbour used to bring me a lot more stuff – peppers, lettuces, onions, radishes, cherries, all sorts, but her nephew (who had the allotment) sold it so she no longer has access to such a wide range alas. What always made me laugh is that this nephew would plant so much stuff, and then go away for the typical French "1 month summer holiday" during prime harvest season, meaning my neighbour had to collect it all herself.
Well, you know down here I'd go with the peaches, easier to get. I love that running out of chutney is an emergency in your house. I can relate on other things, like German mustard! Great recipe.
You know, running out of mayo used to be an emergency in the house too. I haven't actually had a jar in for months now. A vice I've finally managed to crack, lol 😀
Pure Complex says
Oh.. Apple and Nectarine Chutney sounds delicious. Everytime I come here I also get hungry.. seriously lol. You lay out the ingredients in the photo.. then I go into wanting food lol. Great post
Hi Kay! Hope you were able to get something to eat 😀 I try to avoid looking at food blogs too late at night. Makes me damn hungry and all I want is to run out and get a cupcake or something, and of course nowhere is open 😀
Pure Complex says
Oh and just to let you know.. I've nominated you for the seven links challenge on my blog.. post will be up at 4pm Eastern.. Congrats 🙂
Nice, I've been reading quite a few posts of people doing this recently … I was secretly hoping someone would nominate me! Now I have a chance to look back through all my posts, yay 🙂 Thanks so much 🙂
Courgette sounds so much more sophisticated than zucchini (does it taste better too? :)) Funny how those 'unwanteds' can transform into little gems. Nectarines are one of my all-time favourite fruit. Great chutney Charles and I love the way you feature it with cheese and crackers on your selected photo. My hubby would just love this recipe.
Haha, you know – to me, "zucchini" sounds more sophisticated. I guess it's all about what you're accustomed to 😀 You'll note in the final picture I'm serving it in a glass (I ran out of jars, lol)!
Hope you're having a good Sunday 🙂
Now that's some serious chopping! Awesome job, this sounds delicious. Glad you were able to remedy the situation. 😉 Pretty sure this would be amazing on just about anything. Saw Kay's comment, btw, and can't wait to see your 7 links!
Thanks Caroline – You know, now that I have an Apple Corer (I can't believe I went SO long without one) it seems to have cut the prep time down by half! So useful. Seven links will be incoming tomorrow! Hope you're having a good day 🙂