Green Tomato Chutney (Or, What to Do With a Bumper Crop)

Updated on September 19, 2018
ethel smith profile image

Our small tomato plant produced a surprisingly large bounty. This is my recipe for green tomato chutney.

Harvest Time

This past May, we bought one small tomato plant from a local garden fete. It cost only 75p (equivalent to about US$1), but this humble plant grew into one of our most successful tomato plants ever. Now, I love tomatoes—but such a large crop can be problematic. The question became: What should I do with such a huge bounty?

Green Tomato Chutney

I decided to try my hand at making green tomato chutney. I searched online for a basic recipe and then adapted it to our taste. The basic recipe for any chutney includes vinegar, sugar, and some sort of fruit.

I reduced the amount of green tomatoes in the recipe so that I could include some red tomatoes, as well.

Inventive cooking can be disastrous—but sometimes it can result in a recipe worth handing down for generations. Hopefully, I have achieved the latter.

Green tomato chutney, ready to store and share
Green tomato chutney, ready to store and share
5 stars from 1 rating of Green Tomato Chutney

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 kilograms green tomatoes, finely sliced
  • 1/2 kilogram onions and shallots, peeled and finely sliced
  • 1/2 bulb garlic, peeled and finely chopped
  • 30 grams salt
  • 1/2 liter malt vinegar
  • 1/2 liter white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 kilogram soft light brown sugar
  • 1/2 kilogram soft dark brown sugar
  • 250 grams sultanas, roughly chopped
  • 15 grams ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. Wash and finely slice the tomatoes. Before slicing, be sure to remove any blemished skin or flesh.
  2. Peel, wash, and finely slice the onions, shallots, and garlic.
  3. Place the sliced tomatoes, onions, shallots, and garlic in a large pot or pan. I used a large enamel pan.
  4. If you have time to allow the mixture to sit overnight (this step cuts down on the cooking time): Add 30 grams salt and mix well. Cover with cling film (plastic wrap), a large plate, or a lid. Leave overnight. The following morning, drain the mixture but do not rinse. Not rinsing is important. Transfer the drained mixture to a large bowl.
  5. If you do not have time to leave the pot overnight: Add only 15g of salt. Set aside.
  6. In a clean pan, add the vinegar and turn heat to low.
  7. Add the sugar to the vinegar and turn the heat up slightly, stirring occasionally until the sugar has dissolved. Bring the liquid to a boil.
  8. Add the sultanas and turn the heat down. Stir well and then return to the boil.
  9. Add the tomato mixture to the pan. (Before adding to the pan, it may be necessary to drain the mixture again.) Stir well, add pepper, and cook on a low boil for 1 to 2 hours. (Judging when the chutney is finished will take experience. I found that the mixture had thickened and reduced after about two hours of cooking.)
  10. Scrupulously clean the jars you are going to use for the chutney. Stand the jars upside down on a tray in the oven. Turn the oven heat to its lowest setting.
  11. When the chutney is done cooking, carefully remove the warm jars from the oven and stand them on a clean surface. Use a plastic funnel and soup ladle to fill the jars with the chutney.
  12. Wipe away any spills or residue that end up on the outside of the jars or rims. Tap the filled jars to remove any air bubbles.
  13. Using a jam or preserves pot-cover set, place the wax disc wax-side down on the top of each jar before adding a dampened cellophane disc. Secure with a rubber band. As the jar cools, the cellophane will shrink to provide a tight seal.

Photo Tutuorial

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Mainly, I used green tomatoes, but I used a few red ones, as well.Red onions, shallots, and garlicSlice the tomatoesPlace sliced tomatoes, onions, shallots, garlic, and salt in a pot.Drain tomato mixture before adding to cooking potDrained liquidMix light brown sugar and dark brown sugarAdd sugar mixture to vinegar. Cook until the sugar has dissolved.SultanasEverything in the panCook all ingredients over a medium boilJars for chutney (I save jars because I often make jam)
Mainly, I used green tomatoes, but I used a few red ones, as well.
Mainly, I used green tomatoes, but I used a few red ones, as well.
Red onions, shallots, and garlic
Red onions, shallots, and garlic
Slice the tomatoes
Slice the tomatoes
Place sliced tomatoes, onions, shallots, garlic, and salt in a pot.
Place sliced tomatoes, onions, shallots, garlic, and salt in a pot.
Drain tomato mixture before adding to cooking pot
Drain tomato mixture before adding to cooking pot
Drained liquid
Drained liquid
Mix light brown sugar and dark brown sugar
Mix light brown sugar and dark brown sugar
Add sugar mixture to vinegar. Cook until the sugar has dissolved.
Add sugar mixture to vinegar. Cook until the sugar has dissolved.
Sultanas
Sultanas
Everything in the pan
Everything in the pan
Cook all ingredients over a medium boil
Cook all ingredients over a medium boil
Jars for chutney (I save jars because I often make jam)
Jars for chutney (I save jars because I often make jam)

A Very Tasty Result

This recipe makes a tangy but tasty chutney. I sampled a couple of spoonfuls with some strong cheddar cheese—and the verdict was delicious.

I still have plenty of green and red tomatoes remaining, so I plan to make a sweeter chutney soon by tweaking the recipe above.

Hints and Tips

  • Wash utensils, pots, and pans as you go.
  • The smell of vinegar, onion, and garlic is quite strong. It is advisable to open windows.
  • Initially, I was not sure how finely to slice the ingredients. As the chutney cooked on the stove, I used a large pair of sharp scissors to cut the tomatoes and onions into smaller-sized pieces.
  • If you are not using a jam or preserves pot-cover set, use a double layer of cling film to cover the filled jars. When the chutney cools, the cling film cover will shrink back and provide a good seal. Add a screw lid when the jar has completely cooled.
  • If the jars are properly sealed, the chutney should be good for at least six months.

More About My Productive Tomato Plant

As I said earlier, we bought this plant this past May from a local garden fete. It was only a small plant, costing just 75p, but it grew into one of our most successful tomato plants ever.

This one plant supplied so many tomatoes, it seemed we had a veritable monster on our hands! While harvesting, we found a dozen or so ripe tomatoes close to the base, which had previously been hidden by leaves. We found even more that had been obscured by the canes we used to help support the plant as it grew.

Yes, It's Just One Plant!

Click thumbnail to view full-size

How I Cared for the Plant

The plant spent its first two weeks in a pot at a relative's home, as we were going on vacation.

As soon as we returned home, I potted the plant in a large wooden trough in our back garden next to some small strawberry plants and garlic chives.

This past summer here in the UK was exceptional, with consistently high daytime temperatures and warm nights. The downside, however, was long periods without rain.

The weather here was great for people on vacation—but not so much for gardeners.

Practically every evening, I watered this tomato plant. I also used an organic feed, though probably not as frequently as recommended. The whole bottle cost around £3 (equivalent to about US$4), and there is still plenty left.

I did not use any insect repellent sprays on the plant at all. The biggest threat to the plant was the occasional snail or slug, which I removed as soon as I spotted them.

Final Thoughts

Thank you for visiting my page, and I hope it inspires you to make a batch of sweet and tangy green tomato chutney. Please share any feedback, suggestions, or other ideas you may have in the comments section, below!

Green tomato chutney with some strong cheddar cheese
Green tomato chutney with some strong cheddar cheese

© 2018 Ethel Smith

Comments

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    • ethel smith profile imageAUTHOR

      Ethel Smith 

      12 months ago from Kingston-Upon-Hull

      Thanks Lindacee. We have never had so many toms even from multiple plants. Have tried drying some seeds to plant next year and pass on to friends. Good job we like chutney lol and it was fun creating

    • lindacee profile image

      Linda Chechar 

      12 months ago from Arizona

      Gee, you really had one prolific tomato plant. I guess the hot, dry summer was the trick to harvesting a bumper crop. I have not had tomato chutney but it sounds very tasty! You'll probably have quite a bit on hand for your pantry and for friends!

      You've done a great job with the recipe, tutorial and instructions. Easy to follow and fun to read. Maybe I'll try my hand at growing tomatoes and making chutney next summer!

    • ethel smith profile imageAUTHOR

      Ethel Smith 

      13 months ago from Kingston-Upon-Hull

      Hahaha yes live and learn Peggy

      We have planted from seed previously but bought this one small plant as we had vacations booked and it was late in the season. It has been amazing.

      I need to look at canning too I think thanks Peggy

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 

      13 months ago from Houston, Texas

      All of that bounty from one tomato plant is wonderful. You know my sad results from your other chutney recipe using tomatoes.

      When I was new to gardening and had a huge garden in Wisconsin many years ago, the first year I planted 43 tomato plants. Obviously, I did not know how many tomatoes could be produced from that many plants! Besides giving as many away as possible, I learned how to can tomatoes that year. I had watched my mother and grandmother can foods but had never done it as an adult. Needless-to-say, the next year I did not plant that many. Live and learn! Haha!

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