Waste not, want not

Regular attenders may by now have spotted the recurring theme of using to good effect what others heedlessly discard…enter, stage left

Those itsy bitsy, teeny weeny green tomatoes

Yesterday I took down the tomatoes in the greenhouse. Leggy and trying to climb out of the automatic rooflights, limp and going brown at the bottom. Covered in zillions of tiny under developed cherry tomatoes that will never ripen at this time of year in wet Wales. They come off at a touch, so I collected as many as poss, then began attacking what remained of the foliage. More rained down like a volley of rubber bullets. I relieved the branches of yet more as I heaped them up to cart away. This year I grew yellow and red cherry varieties, and there were plenty of the luminous pale green ones as well as the dark green teeny weenies.

Inspiration – usually I ripen indoors under a cloth to keep out the light (you have to keep the light out or the skins get really tough). However, most of these guys were too small to keep for ordinary eating. So, I’m thinking – Green Tomato Chutney.

What you need:

Plenty of otherwise unusable green fruits

Demera sugar

Nice white wine vinegar

Chopped Bramley or other cooking apples


Chopped shallots

Ground ginger

Ground cinnamon

Pinch of sea salt

How much of everything? This is a moveable feast – suck it and see, as they say. If you must know, I used a rough pound of green tomatoes, about 7 oz sugar, about the same of raisins and 2 big Bramleys. Enough wine vinegar to get it cooking – I emptied the last two thirds of a small bottle into the pan. Teaspoon each of ginger and cinnamon. Result? Pretty good IMO.

How to:

Cook all together gently till soft (stirring gently from time to time with a GREAT BIG WOODEN SPOON), and evaporate liquid over low heat till thick enough. Pot up in clean warmed jars, and label.  Now looking forward to all those ploughperson’s lunches – mouthwatering thought. Especially good with goat’s cheese and any rich English or Welsh varieties. Just the right amount of acidity to offset the creaminess, but not enough to scarify the palate or send the visiting grandparents to an early grave coughing their Woodbine laden lungs out, bless ’em.