Green Tomato Chutney


I was standing in my garden looking at a collection of tiny, stubbornly green tomatoes in despair last week.  Surely all this time and effort cannot have come to this, I thought mournfully.  Ok, well not that much effort, but there was a good deal of fretting, peering through foggy plastic propagation tray lids, trying to find a watering device that wouldn’t flatten the tiny seedlings etc…  The little gits were simply not going to ripen.  Not now.  Not in November.

Then I felt something stirring in the dim and distant reaches of my tired mind.  Something just behind a heap of disordered thoughts about irregular German verbs.  Wasn’t this a fairly common problem?  Wasn’t there a solution to this fairly common problem?  Then it hit me.

Green tomato chutney

Makes one fairly small jar

450g / 1lb green tomatoes
1 onion
1 apple
150ml vinegar
50g / 2oz raisins
3 small red chillis
some root ginger
pinch of salt
100g / 4oz sugar

Wash and finely chop the tomatoes.  Peel and chop the onion and the apple.  Core the apple.  Put the tomatoes, onion and apple in a pan and add half the vinegar.  Bruise the chillies and ginger and tie in a muslin bag.  Add the raisins to the pan and cook until soft and pulpy.  Add the remaining vinegar, salt, sugar and stir well.  Continue cooking until thick, pressing the bag of spices occasionally with a wooden spoon.  Remove the bag, pot into warm jars (or jar, in my case) and cover.

The great thing about this recipe (which I nicked from the Women’s Institute Book of Preserves and Pickles) is its brilliant simplicity.  The WI are not ones for faffing about with mincers, or skimming scum off the top of the pan with a golden ladle or any of that nonsense.  Wang it all in, simmer it down, job done.  And it tastes divine.  If all my tomatoes ripen next year I’m going to be thoroughly miffed.

Author: Rachel Wheeley

Comedian, podcaster, full time Mum, based in London, UK

3 thoughts on “Green Tomato Chutney”

  1. we followed a slightly different recipe, we’ve got about 6 jars. maybe we could swap and compare notes.
    ours had ginger but no chillies so maybe nige will prefer yours.

    p.s. as horrid as it might sound marrow chutney is delicious and definitely worth making if you get the chance

  2. Aha, perfect! I had a load of green ones left this year and wanted a really simple recipe for them. I’ll definitely try this next year, as the last of my greenies actually ripened on the windowsill due to that burst of sun we had the other week.

  3. Rach,
    You have inspired me. I had the same terrible problem when my tomatoes just wouldn’t turn red. It was terrible after all the time watching, them nutring them :).
    Anyway am now proudle creating Green Tomatoe Chutney as I write.
    Here’s to green tomatoes.

    Thank you.


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