green tomato, apple & zucchini chutney









P.S. Recipe in English und Deutsch.

A recent visit to my Mum saw me return laden with a veritable bounty from her garden: several large zucchini / courgettes with aspirations to be full-grown marrows, apples, butternut squashes, lavender offshoots, super ripe tomatoes which hardly survived the journey and one giant white cabbage, where half of it still lingers in the fridge. I had bought green tomatoes to make us fried green tomatoes again and delayed, so they needed to be used too. The situation could have not been more auspicious for chutney.

I love preserving and the taste of a richly & warm spiced, fruity chutney is one of the most delightful things to be made from surplus of a summer’s glut or from what is normally thought of inferior un- or overripe produce destined for the compost. This green tomato & zucchini chutney is excellent with a strong-ish Cheddar and English biscuits or crackers for cheese.Its fruity tangyness is balanced by allspice, cloves, mace and aromatic fenugreek and will deepen & develop overtime, for unfortunately, a chutney needs to mature for at least three weeks, ideally 2 months. But even a small taster before that is quite delicious.


Green tomato, apple & zucchini chutney


Every year when the leaves change their colours and we are approaching the height of autumn, I am so pleased to see the summer & autumn harvest preserved and can hardly wait to open them jar by jar and enjoy the transformed tastes. Fresh, juicy fruits & vegetables have become concentrated sweet jams, preserves in syrup or stocked in brine, pickles & fermented foods have developed additional flavours and intense chutneys are awaiting their cheese pairings (all of these make great presents, too).

It is this urge to lay down stocks for winter, which seem to be ingrained in us even if we live in cities. Unfortunately, our cellar isn’t cold, dark or spacious enough to do all I want to to do (and maybe that is a good thing) but we have a larder brimming with jars of jam, pickles & chutneys to feed the five thousand. Must be a family thing, my grandmother’s cellar was filled with a multitude of Eingewecktes (the name stems from the (Weck) preserving company) and equally were her two sisters’s well-stocked larders: plums and pears in syrup, Gewürzgurken (pickles), marrow, beets, gooseberry compote, apple & red current jelly, juices & james – a veritable Aladdin’s cave of everything their garden provided. I aspire to do the same and delight in the view of rows of filled jars, bottles and glasses on my larder shelves.


Green tomato, apple & zucchini chutney


Use your green tomatoes: for this gorgeous & surprising French green tomato jam, the classic Southern fried green tomatoes with buttermilk-jalapeño dressing and why not beg, borrow, steal some more to make the chutney, too!


Green tomato, apple & courgette chutney

Makes two 375ml jars + three 225ml jars. Grand total is about 1450ml in total to be divided between your jar sizes; small Weck jars take for example 220 or 140ml.


500g (18 oz) green tomatoes
4-5 (500g or 18 oz) apples
1 large courgette, zucchino or marrow / squash (18 oz), unpeeled
1 large yellow onion (250g or 9 oz)
250g (9 oz) green Persian raisins
1 ¼ cups (250g or 9 oz) light brown sugar
½ teaspoon salt
a pinch of mace
1-2 teaspoons Aleppo pepper or chilli flakes (depending on your heat preferences)
375ml (1 ½ cups + 1 tbsp. + 1 tsp.) cider vinegar
150ml (2/3 cup) water

spice bag:
1 cherry sized piece of ginger (alternatively 1 teaspoon ground ginger in the chutney)
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
10 allspice kernels
1 teaspoon black pepper kernels
¼ teaspoon fenugreek seeds
10 cloves


Roughly chop the tomatoes (if you are fussy, scald & peel them, although I find this negligible, keep the fibre!), apples & onions as well as the courgette into roughly the same (small) sized dice. Remove hard seeds if your courgette has already turned into a marrow, though you need to make up the weight. Add together with raisins, sugar, salt, mace, chilli or red pepper flakes, vinegar & water to a large heavy based saucepan (my large Le Creuset is filled to the brim by this amount) and make your a spice bag from a piece of muslin or a cut up old tea towel tied with a piece of kitchen string. Place this into the pan and bring all to a boil over a medium-hot flame, stirring from time to time with a wooden spoon to prevent anything sticking to the bottom and burning. Reduce the heat and simmer for 3 hours, stirring occasionally and adding more water if the chutney seems to get too dry. The chutney is finished when the mixture has turned into a near-homogenous mass (some soft pieces are still visible) and if your wooden spoon run through the middle parts the chutney like the Red Sea and the bottom of the pan stays visible.

Fill warm (not piping hot) into sterilized* jars with plastic-coated metal lids (the chutney contains vinegar = acid) or small Weck jars** and leave to mature for at least 3 weeks, ideally 2 months.


* Sterilized jars: Washed in hot water and air-dried; an easy method is right out of a hot dishwasher cycle or my preferred way: washed and kept in a hot oven for about 10-15 minutes or until needed (use gloves!!).
** Weck jars need to be sealed according to instructions competely covered with hot water bath at a constant temperature for a certain time, check the leaflet accompanying every jar.


Green tomato, apple & zucchini chutney


Chutney aus grünen Tomaten, Äpfeln & Zucchini

Ergibt zwei 375ml Gläser + drei 225ml Gläser. Das macht insgesamt ca. 1450ml die auf vorhandene Einmachgläser verteilt werden müssen. Kleine Weckgläser nehmen z. B. 220ml oder 140ml auf.

500g grüne Tomaten
4-5 Äpfel (500g)
1 großer Zucchino oder 500g Zucchini, ungeschält
1 große Gemüsezwiebel (250g)
250g grüne Persische Rosinen
250g heller brauner Zucker (z.B. Tate & Lyle’s)
½ TL Salz
eine Prise Muskatblüte
1-2 TL gestoßener Chili oder Pul biber Flocken
375ml Apfelessig
150ml Wasser

1 kirschgroßes Stück Ingwer (alternativ 1 TL Ingwerpulver direkt ins Chutney)
1 TL Koriandersamen
10 Pimentkörner
1 TL schwarze Pfefferkörner
¼ TL Bockshornkleesamen
10 Nelken


Tomaten grob hacken (wen die Schale stört: mit heißem Wasser überbrühen und die Schale entfernen, mir ist das zu viel Arbeit bei grünen Tomaten und ich behalte die Schale= Ballaststoffe!), Äpfel schälen und wie die Zwiebel in kleine Würfel schneiden. Ebenso mit dem oder den ungeschälten Zucchini verfahren. Sollten im großen Zucchino schon sehr harte Kerne vorhanden sind, diese entfernen und das Gewicht mit entsprechend mehr Zucchinifleisch auffüllen. Alles zusammen mit den Rosinen, Zucker, Salz, Muskatblüte, Chilli, Essig und Wasser in einen großen Topf mit schwerem Boden geben (mein großer Le Creusettopf reicht geradeso aus). Dazu kommt das Gewürzsäckchen: ein Stück Käseleinen, Musselin oder ein zerschnittenes altes Trockentuch mit den Gewürzen füllen und mit Küchengarn zusammenbinden. Bei mittlerer bis großer Flamme zum Kochen bringen, dabei mit einem Holzlöffel umrühren damit nichts anbrennt und das Chutney verdirbt, dann die Hitze reduzieren und ca. 3 Stunden leise köcheln lassen. Wasser hinzugeben falls die Masse zu trocken wird und ab und zu umrühren. Das Chutney ist fertig, wenn eine beinahe homogene Masse entstanden ist, aber noch kleine Stückchen erkennbar sind und man mit dem Holzlöffel einen Grat durch das Chutney ziehen, es wie das Rote Meer teilen kann und der Boden des Topfes sichtbar bleibt.

Warm, nicht kochendheiß in sterilisierte* Gläser mit Metalldeckeln die einen Plastiküberzug haben (das Chutney enthält Essig = Säure) oder Weckgläschen** füllen und mindestens 3 Wochen, besser aber noch 2 Monate reifen lassen.


* Gläser sterilisieren: entweder Gläser und Deckel in heißem Wasser waschen und an der Luft trocknen lassen oder einfach im heißen Spülmaschinengang sterilisieren oder meine bevorzugte Methode: gewaschene Gläser in heißem Backofen für 10-15 Minuten oder bis sie gebraucht werden erhitzen (Handschuhe!!) und dann befüllen.
** Weckgläser: müssen nach Anweisung mit heißem Wasser bedeckt bei konstanter Temperatur für eine bestimmte Zeit verschlossen werden, eingeweckt werden. Instruktionen finden sich auf jedem Glas beigefügten Zetteln.




5 thoughts on “green tomato, apple & zucchini chutney

  1. Your homemade chutney looks very tempting with a beautiful color. It sounds a great idea with my cake 🙂 You’re so lucky to have such a beautiful vegetables from your mum’s garden, beautiful souvenirs too. It is a lot of work but it’s worth it. Have a nice week, Nicole.

  2. OMG this post is gorgeous. Your descriptions are so beautiful. I would love to make any of the chutneys you described. I will be doing this. Aren’t gifts from people’s gardens wonderful? There really isn’t a better gift.

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