Saturday, March 29, 2014

Strange but Wonderful Green Tomato Saucy Pickle

I'm quite compulsive about not wasting produce. Slightly obsessive, in fact. And so when the lovely Ingrid was turfing the last of her cherry tomatoes at the busy bee last weekend, I couldn't resist setting the plants aside until I (actually, my darling husband) had a chance to pull every last green or orange tomato fruit off the leggy old stems.

My plan was to make green tomato pickle. But when snoodling around on the internet this morning, all the recipes seemed to require allowing the fruit to sit and drain overnight, which was out of the question because today is Sunday and everyone knows, preserving on a Monday is a recipe for nothing but disaster. To get around the problem I tried a search for "green tomato sauce" because then I figured I'd be able to boil the moisture out instead. Anyway, I managed to find a couple of recipes that were a bit inspiring, including this Jamie Oliver recipe. I decided to blitz all my ingredients, then cook them up for a bit before bottling. I set about collecting ingredients and somehow I ended up with a whole lot more (green) things than any of the recipes asked for. Here's the full list:

a kilo of mostly green cherry toms,
a few tomatillos,
two green capsicums,
two onions, 
several cloves of garlic,
a bunch of basil and parsley from garden, stalks included,
two sticks of celery,
a couple of fresh curry leaves,
a lemon myrtle leaf,
a couple of green chillies,
a slice of lime peel,
juice of half of the same lime,
200ml of white vinegar,
70g of brown sugar,
coriander seeds,
whole allspice.

I wasn't sure it was going to work but it seemed worth a shot. So I crushed the coriander and allspice then dry toasted them. Next, I whizzed everything else (in batches) in the blender before boiling it all up for an hour or so. I skipped the step where you strain it to smooth saucy consistency because aside from being a finicky waste of time, removing all the good fibre and making your sauce less healthy seems like a stupid idea to me, but I did push it through a sieve for a bit which may or may not have increased its smoothness.

The result, after all that, was a strange but very lovely, olivey-green, sweetish sourish tomato pickle-y sauce. Perfect, I imagine, for spreading on sausages, fish, roast beef, chicken sandwiches or even eating as an accompaniment with Easter Bunny Pie. I'm very pleased with it but before I declare it a success I'll wait to see what Ingrid says. I've got a bottle with her name on it.

jars of green tomato saucy pickle,
plus chipotle sauce far right and a combo of the two on the left

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