The Chutney Method

by Jesse Griffiths
Photography by Jody Horton

Chutney is an all-encompassing and delicious use for leftover vegetables, bumper crops, or those big bags of fruit given to you as a gift. It can be made with anything. I prefer a mix of sweet fruit, some vegetables, raisins, sugar, vinegar and spices. The technique is nothing more than cooking everything down to a paste and seasoning to your liking to achieve that nice balance between sweet, spicy and sour. I have used apples, pears, green tomatoes, overgrown zucchini, plums, onions, kumquats, peaches and sweet potatoes with varying success. The great part is that you can make it a month ahead of time—it keeps well in the fridge and gets better with age.

Easy

The Chutney Method

Ingredients

For 1 Batch(es)

Cream

  • Fruit (see above, but don’t be limited by that list)
  • Vegetables (same applies)
  • Fresh ginger, peeled
  • Raisins or currants
  • Spices and herbs, such as cinnamon, allspice, cloves, peppercorns, rosemary, thyme and bay leaves, wrapped in cheesecloth and tied with string
  • Sugar, honey, agave nectar, Rapadura—you get the picture
  • Vinegar (red wine, white wine, champagne or my favorite: Bragg’s apple cider vinegar)

The Chutney Method Directions

  1. Okay. Put everything except for the sugar and vinegar in a thick-bottomed pot over low heat with a splash of water to get it started and cook for a long time, stirring every once in a while to avoid sticking, adding a little more water if necessary.
  2. Once everything has reached a certain homogeneous mush, add sugar and vinegar to taste. Think “ketchup” as your reference, which is just tomato chutney, after all.
  3. Don’t be afraid to make it spicy with peppers, sweeter with pears or extra sour with citrus. The chutney pictured was made with apples, sweet potatoes, kumquats, currants and onions—things we just had lying around. Serve with the duck.

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