Tomatillo magic

til1The tomatillos have been one of the success stories from the community garden, and I grabbed a bunch of windfalls today, along with a collection of not-yet-ripe tomatoes that the squirrels had nibbled and rejected. I’ve used tomatillos in a Spanish omelet (very successful), and in a corn-tomatillo salsa (also rather nice). But I had almost two kilos of the tomatoes and tomatillos mix, so I wanted something I could make and keep. Google offered several recipes for chutney, including one that suggested a 3-hour boil down. I rejected that, and blundered into a Dutch blog called Grown to Cook, which seems to be my sort of blog. (Not WordPress, sadly, so no “follow” button that I could find).

Among other things, blogger Vera writes about a yeast-based chocolate cake that comes from a recipe book I own (so I have no excuse not to try it). And she has a tomatillo chutney that sounded beautifully non sweet and (more importantly) was easily adaptable to the ingredients I had in the pantry. I used golden sultanas rather than raisins, and I crushed the mustard seeds before adding them, but things stayed more or less the same. Yes, chutney takes time to prep and boil, but it’s pretty damn easy.

til3

Green tomato/tomatillo chutney (adapted from Grown to Cook website)

1 kg tomatoes, washed and coarsely chopped (remove the parts the critters nibbled at)
1 kg tomatillos, husked, washed and coarsely chopped
750 g apples, peeled and coarsely chopped
3 onions, chopped
1 cup golden sultanas
1 cup sugar
2 cups cider vinegar
2 tbsp mustard seeds, lightly crushed
2 tsp salt
3 small chiles, seeded and chopped (use more next time)

Throw all the ingredients into a large saucepan, bring to the boil and then simmer about an hour until it’s chutney thick. Bottle in sterilized jars. Water bath for 10 minutes. I ended up with 11 jars, which was a lot more than I expected. I’d better like it.

At first bite, I thought this chutney was going to be vinegary rather than sour-sweet, but it seemed to mellow overnight and now has a rather mysterious “what is this?” sort of taste. A little extra spice would be nice — my chiles were very small, and not that spicy.

I also came back with another dozen of the radish/turnip thingies, which my fellow gardener assures me are actually turnips, not radishes, so the last blog entry is flat out wrong. What do I do with these?

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