Saturday, July 23, 2016

What to Do with Too Much!

Even after the farmers' market, I still had lots of small tomatoes left over today.
These are only a few of them.
 I've made tomato sauce. Now it was time to dehydrate some tomatoes. Adam's working on the BIG dehydrator, but we do have a small electric one, so I used that.
This is the BEST tomato ever! It's called a Garden Peach tomato. It's so pretty, very firm flesh but without a real shiny "skin" like most tomatoes. It has a sweet, zippy flavor as a tomato should.
 I capped this one and ate the whole thing like an apple.

All the tomatoes fit in there. Yay! The bad news, however, is that if I went outside and picked tomatoes (which I really, really should have done today, but I didn't) I'd have that much again. Sigh.
We also have figs coming out our ears, as they say. I've made preserves, and the dehydrator was already full, so I found a new recipe ... fig chutney! I chopped all the figs. (I sold two big packages at the market.) These are only the ones we could get from the bottom of the tree. There's more than two pounds here.
 I washed, stemmed, and quartered them.
I put together two recipes I found online, and I'll give it to you as I made it. I used coriander seed!! Yippee! A use for all that dried up cilantro! I ground it up in a mortar/pestle with some peppercorns.
Fig Chutney:

Into a heavy sauce pan (I used a cast iron chicken fryer), heat two tablespoons veg oil. Add a medium thinly sliced onion and saute for five minutes on medium. Turn down to simmer.
1 cup white raisins/sultanas
1 cup dark brown sugar
a cinnamon stick
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. ground nutmeg
1 tsp. ground allspice
1/2 tsp. ground  peppercorns
1/2 tsp. ground coriander
juice and zest from one lemon
2 tsp. grated fresh ginger
3/4 cup - 1 cup very good balsamic vinegar
Simmer this mixture for about 30 minutes, uncovered, depending on how dark and how thickened you want your chutney to be.
Add the chopped figs. I had over 2 pounds, I think. Cook on simmer (but the chutney should be bubbling) for another 15-20 minutes. The longer you cook it, the more translucent the figs will become.
Mixture before adding the figs

finished chutney
Okay, you say, but ... what do you do with it? 
Looking online, it seems chutney is not used on buttered toast for breakfast, so it's not a jam :)
It's more like pepper jelly -- good on cream cheese and crackers, good to marinate pork or beef. 
Some put it on crusty bread with a strong cheese -- sharp cheddar or Roquefort.
Someone makes chutney and peanut butter sandwiches!
The taste of the chutney is complex, rich, sweet, spicy, and a bit hot -- the ginger does that.
This batch made 2 and a half pints.
Yay for using more figs!!!
Disclaimer: I didn't really measure all those ingredients. I'm estimating what I thought I used. The online recipes had measurements in metric ... ugh!


  1. You may have to start donating to the local food shelf! :)

  2. I've eaten chutney served on roast turkey breast in the summer when the chef thought gravy was not appropriate.

  3. Had to laugh at the figs coming out of your ears. When I was a child it was common to be told what I would have potatoes coming out of my ears if I didn't wash!

  4. Well done, MK! Between you and Adam you'll get your harvest put by.

  5. Hooray for all that preserving! You'll be glad for it when harvest is over. That fig chutney looks really good. I'd eat it on bread. Would it be good over ice cream? Or on oatmeal?


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