Saturday, April 16, 2011

Relishing green tomatoes.

.Southern Australia has a wee problem with Portuguese millipedes, as mentioned previously. Among the favourite foods of these smelly critters, is almost ripe vegetables in the garden, or so it seems. It is somewhat distressing to have been watching a particularly large tomato, or perfectly shaped strawberry, waiting and waiting for it to be ready, to suddenly find a multitude of millipedes curled up inside it, chomping away. They are the reason we picked our rock melon early, and why we took about 2kg of unripe Amish Paste tomatoes off the bush. 

But, you know, just because something isn't ripe, doesn't mean you can't still eat it, and what better to make with green tomatoes than tomato relish? (*Recipe at end*)
You need to give them a very good wash first, and try not to be too grossed out by the millipedes which drift to the bottom of the sink.

 Then you cut them up into rough hunks, taking out the dodgy bits and the bugs. If desired, you can be a bit silly and arrange them from ripest to least ripe across the chopping board for a funky photo.

Also cut up one onion, some of the capsicum floating around in the bottom of the fridge, and a handful of chillies from the garden, maybe only a couple of chillies if you don't like things hot. 
Bring some vinegar and sugar to the boil, then pile in your chopped vegetables. I recommend choosing a bigger pot than I did.

But even if you have misjudged the vegetables to pot size ratio, don't worry, let it sit and simmer gently and the tomatoes will quickly break down and begin to release lots of water and not threaten to overflow anymore. Over time, the tomato mixture will reduce down to about one third of the original volume.

When all of the excess water has gone from the mixture and it is quite thick, it is ready to be used. It's very rich, tangy and delicious. Excellent as a condiment for sandwiches, or on meat, or on top of leftover lasagne as I have been eating it. You could probably sterilize some jars and store it for some time, but at the rate it's being eaten in this house I'm glad I didn't bother and settled for a glamorous Ikea container instead.

Tomato Relish
(Recipe from Chef D)
Adjust quantities to suit what you have available.

In a saucepan, mix together 1/2 cup brown sugar and one cup of white wine vinegar. Bring to the boil, then simmer gently.
Add 1.5kg of chopped tomatoes, 1 chopped onion, 1 chopped capsicum and fresh chopped chili to taste.
Stir all together, then simmer gently until it is well reduced and the excess water has gone. This will take some time, perhaps 1-2 hours depending on how slowly you are cooking it.
When it has cooled, it is ready to eat.

1 comment:

Liss said...

Go Chef D! I have a green tomato relish I make too and I looooove it on cold corned beef sangas. Drooling now...