Peter, the man with the Noosa Red tomatoes at the farmer’s market, always has a smile – and why shouldn’t he; his tomatoes are seriously the best I’ve tasted. We’re lucky enough to get them almost straight from the farm gate – where they’re grown is about 40 kms north of here. He picks them the day before market, and they have seriously ruined me for any other tomato – they are so beautifully sweet that I literally eat them like apples…although love them for brekky on rye sourdough with fresh goat’s curd (also from the markets) and basil from my garden.
This morning we talked, as we always do, about the weather – the rain we’d had during the week, slightly cooler days. He shook his head today and said, ‘the plants aren’t happy.’
Then he pointed past the perfect tomatoes on the stall to some trays in the back of his truck. ‘I have a lot of seconds today,’ he said.
Beside me Grant groaned, he knew what was coming. ‘I’ll take some off your hands,’ I said.
‘Of course you will,’ muttered Grant. ‘What are you going to make?’
‘Chutney,’ I replied.
‘Make sure you use red onions,’ said Peter, ‘they’re sweeter. One of my restaurants takes trays of seconds off me to make tomato paste,’ he said. ‘You can do that and freeze it.’ A cheeky grin came over his face. ‘Do you want another tray?’
‘Maybe next week…’
So, this is my recipe, it goes particularly well with cheddar or red Leicester cheese. It has a bit of curry and some mustard and ginger in it for some spice. If you wanted to you could add some chopped apple and sultanas but we didn’t have any apples and Sarah hates sultanas.
What you need
- 2kgs tomatoes, chopped
- 2 large onions (red, if possible) chopped
- 2 ½ tablespoons malt vinegar
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 500g brown sugar
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped or minced
- Minced ginger – about 2 teaspoons
- 1 tablespoon curry powder
- 1 tablespoon mustard powder
- 2 teaspoons black peppercorns
- 2 tablespoons salt
- 1 tablespoon cornflour
What you do with it
- Put everything other than the cornflour into a large pan – I use a deep wide pan. Stir over low heat until all the sugar has dissolved, then increase the heat to medium-high and bring to the boil.
- Cook, stirring it every so often, for about 50 minutes – the ingredients should be broken down and the mixture thick.
- Mix cornflour with 60ml cold water until it is a smooth paste, stir it into the chutney and cook for another 10 minutes.
- Cool and pour into sterilised jars.