Emma Crowhurst: Ratatouille chutney recipe

This chutney is delicious with all cold meats, cheese and salads and will keep perfectly ready for C

This chutney is delicious with all cold meats, cheese and salads and will keep perfectly ready for Christmas - Credit: Archant

Emma Crowhurst makes the most of autumn’s bounty

Allotments and gardens are producing a final flush of fruits and vegetables this month. Whilst walking out last Sunday through our local allotment, we begged some runner bean leaves from a hard working couple for my guinea pigs and tortoise. We were talking about their harvest and they pressed courgettes, almost marrows into my arms. Enough to last me weeks, with the best will in the world there are only so many courgettes you can eat in a day. Two great ways to preserve courgettes are in very similar recipes. Ratatouille will freeze beautifully. I always cut my veggies quite small, courgettes, aubergines, red onions and peppers of every hue with tomatoes , lots of seasoning and a pinch of sugar. Cook gently until well reduced so the sauce clings to the vegetables and is almost syrupy. A final taste and then I spread it out on to a tray and cool quickly. I freeze it in bags ready to use on a whim any time I like. Another super way to make great use of a glut of aubergines and courgettes is in a delicious chutney. Use the same small dice of all the veggies, some spices, fresh tomatoes, vinegar and sugar. Reduce again until syrupy and pop into sterilized jars and top with a lid.

METHOD

Blanch the tomatoes by plunging into boiling water for about 12 seconds, pop them into cold water straight away and skin them using a small knife.

Chop roughly.


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Place tomatoes, onions, courgettes, peppers, aubergine and garlic in a large pan.

Add salt and the other spices, cover and cook stirring occasionally until the juices start to run.

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Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 1-1 ½ hours or until the vegetables are soft but have not lost their shape and most of the liquid from the tomatoes has evaporated.

Add the vinegar and sugar stirring to dissolve the sugar. Continue to cook for 1 hour or until the chutney is thick and there is no free vinegar on top.

Spoon whilst hot in to clean sterilised jars. Seal with a vinegar proof cover and store for 2 months to mature.

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