Three ways to preserve tomatoes

From left: green tomato chow, yellow tomato jam and spicy tomato chutney. (Image: Zahra Sethna)

To everything there is a season, and the moment for tomatoes is now. The acid in tomatoes means they store well as pasta sauce or salsa, but there are many other ways to pack that fresh flavour away for colder weather. Here are three recipes for tomato condiments that go well with burgers, grilled meats, fish cakes or sandwiches. 

Spicy tomato chutney
6 cups chopped ripe tomatoes (about 3 pounds)
4 heaping tablespoons brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp allspice
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 cup white vinegar
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp crushed chili flakes
pinch of salt

Roughly chop tomatoes and place in a large stainless steel saucepan. Add brown sugar, vinegar and spices. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Adjust seasoning to taste. Lower heat to a simmer and cook until most of the water has dried and the mixture has a jammy consistency (about 30-40 minutes). Stir often to prevent sticking. Test thickness on a small bowl or plate that has been placed in the freezer for several minutes. Drop a bit of chutney on the plate – if it does not run when you tilt, you’re there. If it’s still runny, continue to cook for a few minutes more. Bottle into two or three pint jars, wipe rims, seal and process for 10 minutes in a boiling water bath. (This makes a slightly chunky chutney. For a smoother version blanch the tomatoes and remove skins before chopping, or leave the skins on but use a potato masher to make the chunks finer.)

Yellow tomato jam
6 cups chopped yellow tomatoes (about 3 pounds)
1 1/2 cups sugar
zest and juice of 1 lemon
small handful of basil leaves, thinly sliced

Chop tomatoes and place in a large stainless saucepan. A shallow one is best, as it allows the water to evaporate more easily. Cover with sugar, stir well and let the mixture sit for about an hour to allow the tomatoes to release their juices. Turn stove to medium-high, add lemon juice and cook, stirring frequently, until water begins to evaporate and mixture thickens (about 30-40 minutes). Test thickness on a small plate or bowl that has been placed in the freezer for several minutes. Place a small amount on the plate and tilt. If the jam runs down the plate, cook for a few more minutes. If it stays pretty much together in one place, it’s done. Remove from heat, stir in lemon zest and shredded basil. Bottle and process for 10 minutes in a boiling water bath.

Green tomato chow
8 cups chopped green tomatoes (about 4 pounds)
2 cups chopped onions (about 2 large or 4 small onions)
1/4 cup salt
1 cup vinegar
1/2 cup pickling spice
1 1/2 cups white sugar

Chop or slice tomatoes and onions. Add salt and let stand overnight. In the morning, drain off the juice. Put mixture in large saucepan over high heat. Add vinegar, sugar and pickling spice wrapped in a small piece of cheesecloth and tied into a bundle. Cook until tomatoes are soft and liquid has cooked off. Remove bag of spice. Bottle and process for 10 minutes in a boiling water bath.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s