With all this lovely weather we’ve been having, it’s worth getting up extra early and making the most of things. This is the early morning view that greats me as I stumble out of bed and fall down the stairs to the kettle. I can’t do anything without a cup of tea first… and certainly not a marathon day in the garden.
The runner beans have been getting some Olympic ideas too, and seem to have got ahead of me by at least one lap. It’s time for the killer catch-up… a batch of runner bean chutney.
I don’t really follow a recipe precisely, but cobble a few recipes together (usually because I am ill-prepared when it comes to shopping and don’t have exactly what’s needed!).
This time I loosely followed this recipe found on homefarmer.co.uk (they have lots of inspiring ideas for your produce). I like to use a mix of white wine and cider apple vinegar (rather than malt vinegar, which I find a bit overpowering… and makes everything brown). And I don’t use nearly as much vinegar as they suggest… I don’t like runny runner chutney! And I don’t like to boil it for hours either. You will notice that the colour of my chutney turns out more vibrant than the homefarmer.co.uk one. Mine is also a chunkier chutney.
I didn’t have any English powdered mustard, so some French grainy had to suffice. With added welcome texture, in my opinion. Some turmeric for flavour and colour. Tick. Some cornflour. Tick.
A teaspoon of each of these stirred together to make a paste… then finely chop a couple of red onions, simmer in the rest of the vinegar for 20 minutes, add the pre-cooked chopped beans, stir in the paste and simmer for another 10 minutes. Add some sugar (I didn’t have any brown left, so I used white). Simmer gently for another 15, stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Have a wide-mouthed funnel at the ready (this is something that I have, eventually, got round to buying, and it’s a game changer in the preserving department). Laddle into sterilised jars (pre-washed and warmed in the oven) and seal.
Store your chutney for at least a month before using… three or four is better. I prefer to make small batches rather than still have last years chutney in the cupboard this time next year. It just makes it that bit more special.
Have you got any runner bean recipes you’d like to share? Do you prefer yours smooth or chunky?