Come the end of October, I had accumulated a large ‘volume’ of vegetables from the garden that needed using in a ‘big’ way. The red cabbages have grown huge and heavy. They are deliciously crunchy and tasty chopped up in a salad, but just one of them is way too much for my daughter and I to get through on our own. I’d also freed a raised bed, ready for over-wintering broad beans, and had pulled up lots of little ‘infill’ beetroots. And I wanted to use my small-but-precious onion crop in something a bit more memorable than a soup.
Time to get preserving and make a chutney!
MNM is a much more refined and skilled cook than me. I often sense him flinch at the ‘Random Ingredients Challenge’ that is my normal mode of cooking. So he is quite impressed that I have gathered together most of the ingredients to follow a ‘real’ recipe. I am quite impressed I’m following a real recipe! It is very nice to have his company and skills to help prepare everything. A bottle of something fizzy makes sharing a Sunday afternoon cooking even more of a pleasure.
The ingredients needed are: red cabbage (or half of one, in my case), beetroot, cooking apples, onions, soft ready-to-eat prunes, soft brown sugar, balsamic vinegar. Tie a cinnamon stick, star anise, and cloves in a muslin bag. (The original recipe calls for whole all-spice seeds, but I couldn’t find any, so left it out).
So there we have it! Now, the recipe says this will be ready to eat after a month. I’d normally give a chutney 3 months for the flavours to blend and the sharpness of the vinegar to recede, but as this recipe uses balsamic vinegar it might not be so acidic? It already tastes rather delicious. If you have a bit left over, pop it into a small jar and use it as a tester after a month.
It should keep for a year, but I think it will make an excellent present, and a perfect accompaniment to the Christmas Dinner. I’ve got lots more ideas for Christmas coming up… Please subscribe if you’d like notification of future posts.
This recipe was adapted from one found at Rosie Makes Jam
MNMs cooking skills have been enhanced by a week at Ashburton Cookery School which currently has some great offers.