A few months ago, my parents went overseas and I found myself with an enormous bowl full of fresh, ripe, home-grown, sun-ripened tomatoes from their garden.
No way I could eat that many cheese and tomato sandwiches before the tomatoes went bad, so I thought I would try my hand at preserving them in a chutney.
Store-bought tomato chutney or relish can be hit and miss – sometimes it’s great, but more often it is too sweet, not spicy enough or (horror) has sultanas in it! Making my own seemed safe. I tried to emulate an amazing locally made relish I bought a few years ago in an Easter market in Mudgee. I hadn’t managed to find one as good in a supermarket since then.
So – I peeled and cooked down a dozen or so tomatoes with water, onion, garlic and chilli and added some sugar and vinegar. After a few hours bubbling away, it was sweet and tangy and spicy and rich. Maybe not quite as good as the original, but pretty close.
The next day, I made a classic beef burger topped with lashings of my spicy tomato relish. The only bad bit – I just didn’t make enough.