Tomato and Red Pepper Chutney

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I have to admit to not being the world’s most enthusiastic cook. Cooking for adults and children, two or three meals a day every day for decades has taken a lot of the magic out of it for me. Except that is for a few things: I love baking bread and making preserves – jam, chutney, marmalade, curd, relish, pickle, that kind of thing.

The simple act of turning a few ingredients – often straight from the land, or at a reduced price from the greengrocer – into several jars packed full of glistening flavour that will brighten up dull winter dishes never ceases to delight me. I love to see them lined up on the kitchen counter in their autumnal colours of deep red, yellows and browns, knowing that we’ll be enjoying them throughout the cold months to come.

I usually make them later in the year, but as I managed to get several bags of tomatoes at a very low price, I had to make use of them.

This recipe is based on one from the back of a label of Sarson’s pickling vinegar from about fifteen years ago. I’ve made it many times, it is subtly sweet and spicy and we love it with bread and cheese or mash potato.

Tomato and Red Pepper Chutney

2.7kg (6 lb) ripe tomatoes, skinned and chopped

675g (1½ lb) onions,  chopped

3 red peppers, deseeded and chopped

1.14 Ltr (2 pt) Sarson’s pickling malt vinegar

300g (11 oz) demerara sugar

15 ml (1 tbsp) salt

15 ml (1 tbsp) chilli powder or I use chopped fresh chilli from a jar

  • To skin the tomatoes: cut a small cross with a sharp knife in the bottom, then immerse small batches in boiling water for 20 to 30 seconds. Remove with a slotted spoon and the skins will peel of easily.
  • Place all ingredients in a preserving pan or large saucepan and heat gently until the sugar dissolves.
  • Bring to the boil and boil gently, uncovered, for approximately 2 hours, stirring from time to time, until the vegetables are soft and the mixture is thick and pulpy.
  • Spoon into warm sterilised jars, seal, label and store.
  • Makes about 2.3 kg (5 lb)

We started eating ours straight away, but the flavour definitely improves with time.

I may have to make another batch later in the year as we’ve already finished almost two small jars since I made it a couple of weeks ago. This is a definite favourite in our house along with piccalilli, which I’ve also recently made and will post about soon. There is an enticing selection of recipes on my Pinterest preserves board if you are looking for more inspiration. What about you, dear reader, do you have a favourite preserve recipe to share?

11 thoughts on “Tomato and Red Pepper Chutney

    1. Hi Autumn, it is satisfying indeed. Though I think I may need more cupboard space to hold all the jars. I wish I had one of those big old pantries 🙂

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  1. I love the way you remind me that the kitchen does not have to be about drudgery. 🙂 It’s a wonderful idea about making all those savory wonders which can carry us happily through the cold days of winter. I especially liked the idea of making bread. I have never tried it. But will think about it when the summer turns to fall and the oven won’t make the kitchen so stifling. Do you bake from scratch? Or use a bread machine? As always, thank you for your inspiring thoughts!

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    1. I like to bake from scratch when I have the time, but otherwise I use a bread machine… which isn’t the same, but still gives that delicious freshly baked bread smell throughout the house 🙂

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  2. I have found cooking to be a chore lately! So unusual, but I know it is because I am working out of the house. Funny how one thing can change so many others…. Anyhoo, this recipe sounds very delish and would def go over well in my house. I ferment salsa, that’s my favourite all preserve. 🙂

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    1. Yes, I think I go through phases of wanting to cook and then not so much. And it does depend on work and other things – even the weather. When autumn comes I will be making soups and bread, and in winter sweet christmassy things. Just got to be in the right mood to enjoy it, I suppose. Thanks for stopping by. x

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  3. Oh, that looks delicious! Like you years of cooking for a large family have left me left than enthusiastic about much cooking, but I can always be persuaded to make jams and chutneys and such, particularly if I’ve grown the fruit and veg, foraged for it, or picked it up at a local farmer’s market.

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    1. Thanks Annie, I think I could quite happily take up preserving as a hobby. Though I would need more cupboard space 😉 I’m waiting for the elderberries to ripen so I can make elderberry liqueur as a christmas treat.

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  4. Cooking can become a bit of a chore, l know that feeling well. I have never made a chutney, but this sounds delicious! I love that you get such pleasure from it, Kim…in the winter months you will think of the warm summer days when it was made. Have a great weekend xx

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  5. Thanks Jane, it’s wonderful how food can connect us to the seasons and passing of time. I think there must be a bit of a natural instinct to preserve and store food for future months that makes it so enjoyable. I think I must be part squirrel – got to get myself prepared for hibernation 🙂

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