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Green Tomataoes

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Since the summer seems to be coming to an end and the garden was still full of green tomatoes which will not have enough sun to ripen, I decided to do something to use them up. Not really a recipe really because I'm not sure if it is a relish, a salsa or a chutney but just food for thought.

I chopped up all the tomatoes (some green, some very green and some sort of orange-coloured), a couple of onions finely chopped, a head of garlic, a red pepper and a couple of hot green peppers finely chopped. Everything went into a large saucepan with a slug of pekmez, a teaspoon of salt, a tablespoon each of ground cumin and coriander, some powdered pul bibier and kirmizi biber, black pepper, a couple of dried hot peppers (the ones we hung out in garlands on the balcony over the summer), a cup of vinegar (nar and uzum mixed) and slowly let it simmer for about 20 mins. Funnily enough the green colour turned redder as it cooked.

Then into sterilised jars, put the caps on and boiled in a pan of water for another 20 mins.

The result was rather nice. Will put less pekmez and more vinegar next time.post-4219-0-99070900-1320063683_thumb.jp post-4219-0-34911400-1320069349_thumb.jp

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Well, the first batch didn't last long as we gave out jars to neighbours and friends and wolfed our share (on cheese on toast, with mucver, with adana kebabs, in sandwiches...). But downstairs neighbours say they aren't doing anything with their green tomatoes so there is another batch coming along. Sunny, if there is a direct bus from Nevsehir to Izmir I could do the usual thing of giving it to the bus driver and you have someone pick it up from the bus on the other end? Sue, are you in Istanbul?

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Thank you for the offer but I'm afraid the bus service isn't that organised. :D Sounds delicious though.

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Hi Vic, yes, I am.

But I don't really expect you to send me a jar, bless you!

How long do you think it will keep, what's the 'BestBefore' date on homemade chutneys?

I have a little recipe book for chutneys (is that the right spelling for the plural??) and now I live so close to a great street market, and an organic farm, I might keep my eye open for large quantities of veg to have a go. Do you think you can make it with pumpkins?

Cheers, sue x

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The big scare about homemade bottling is botulism. Luckily high-acid contents like green tomatoes, especially if you add vinegar, have a lower risk. All you need to do is fill your jars as near to the top without touching the cap (recipes suggest a quarter of an inch space). Screw the caps on tightly, fill a pan of water up to the neck of your jars and boil for 20 mins. Like this they should keep for 12 months (not in our household though!). If you use red tomatoes and why not pumpkins or apples, you should sterilise the jars either in a steriliser or covered with water one inch to cover the jars in a pressure cooker for 20 minutes. Google "bottling homemade sauces" or "canning BBQ sauce" for more information. You are supposed to take altitude into the equation so since we are at over 1000m above sea-level here I add 5 minutes more and cross fingers. But as I say, I've never managed to keep jars of anything for 12 months!

On the subject of pumpkins, have you tried making pumpkin pasta - very nice, easy to make and very pretty!

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