• 1kg Marrow
  • 1 kg Tomatoes
  • 500g Cooking Apples
  • 500g Onions
  • 500g Sultanas
  • 500g Light Brown Sugar
  • 600ml Cider Vinegar
  • 2 tsp Dried Chilli Flakes
  • Pinch of Salt
  • 50g Fresh Root Ginger
  • 12 Cloves
  • 2 tsp Black Peppercorns
  • 1 tsp Coriander Seeds

Big, Massive, Huge Seasonal Chutney

Our friend Will gave us some big, massive, huge vegetables (as Jess called them) so we decided to make some big, massive, huge “seasonal chutney”.

Jess was right – the vegetables were big, massive and indeed huge. The onion alone weighed 1.5kg. We only needed a third of it for the entire recipe. The marrow weighed in at 3.5kg – again, we didn’t need all of it, less than a third in fact. We also had a carrot that was half a metre long and a huge cauliflower that “was bigger than daddy’s head”. Can you imagine how gigantic that must have been? However, we didn’t need either of those for this recipe – we’re just showing off about our big, massive, huge vegetables.

But don’t feel too down-hearted if you’ve only got tiny, withered, sorry-looking vegetables. It’s OK….they’ll probably taste the same in this recipe and of course once they’re chopped up and in the chutney nobody will know how big they were in the first place (that is unless you go “on and on and on” about the size of them in a blog post or something like that….).

How we did it:

  • First of all we bought a book called “Preserves” by Pam Corbin (a River Cottage Handbook). We’ve got other books on preserves but this is our favourite. It’s really good….so buy that and then grow yourself a 1.5kg onion and a 3.5kg marrow and you’re all set.
  • On page 108 there is a recipe for Seasonal Chutney which we followed carefully. We mainly went for this recipe (marrow is a primary ingredient) because we’d had the marrow in the house for at least a week and I was concerned it was starting to form a personality and therefore push me yet further down the household hierarchy. So I diced it into small pieces. Really small pieces. I was alpha male again – which is still fifth position in a household of 4 females. But one up from a marrow. Result.
  • I also chopped up the onion, slightly less aggressively, the tomatoes and the cooking apples (which were also peeled and cored first).
  • We made a “spice bag”. As you do. We followed the recipe carefully: we cut out a 20cm square of muslin and put into it the ginger (bruised), the cloves, peppercorns and coriander seeds. We tied it up and admired how great it looked, and then forgot to take a photo of it. You’ll have to imagine how amazing our “spice bag” looked.
  • We put the whole lot in a pan and brought it to the boil slowly, and stirred occasionally (when we remembered – approx. every 40 minutes).
  • We spooned it all out into sterilised jars (by the way we sterilised them by putting them in the dishwasher on a normal cycle). Don’t yawn.

What we thought of it:

Now, according to the original recipe this matures in a couple of months and keeps for 2 years. At the time of writing this was made 7 days ago and the 2 people that have received a jar have already consumed the majority. So, either this is (a) very good and in fact too good to wait for, or (b) the recipients have a “chutney problem”. My money is on the latter – you can see it in their eyes.