Green tomatoes may conjure the first frost and the sad end to summer's farm bounty, but they’re also a way to preserve the perfect tang of summer–a flavor that can never to be replicated by their inferior winter cousins, grown with hydroponics or in factory farms far away. When we are deep inside the belly of winter, we crave the tangy, sweet & sour perfection of an earth-grown, sun-ripened tomato. A tomato out of season is an imitation, a fraud, lacking the earthy magic of the real thing.
The tomatoes in our Brooklyn Green Tomato Chutney are the real deal. They’re grown with love and devotion by our friends at Brooklyn Grange Rooftop Farm in Long Island City, a one-acre urban farm. Many of these tomatoes were grown from seed in the greenhouses at Roberta's in Bushwick, Brooklyn before being planted on the roof. They're true urban tomatoes and any substitution in the recipe below just won't pack the same punch.
As always, we like to keep things interesting in the Anarchy kitchens, so we added currents, chili peppers (also from Brooklyn Grange), sweet vermouth, onions, mustard seeds, smoked paprika, sugar and organic cider vinegar to our chutney. It’s kick ass and a worthy accompaniment to a number of meals. Smear it on roast chicken, nibble it with toast, swirl some in your pollenta, or enjoy alongside some perfectly poached eggs, this chutney delivers anytime you want a tangy tomato accompaniment.
Brooklyn Green Tomato Chutney
2 lb unripe tomatoes, diced 1/4 lb ripe tomatoes, diced 1 cup diced onion 1/2 cup currants 2 small hot chili peppers 1/4 cup sweet vermouth 3 tablespoons brown sugar 3 tablespoons cider vinegar 2 teaspoons mustard seeds 1/2 teaspoon chili pepper flakes 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika salt to taste
Combine all the ingredients except ripe tomatoes in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 25 minutes before adding the ripe tomatoes. Continue to simmer until tomatoes are tender and the texture is thickened, about 1 hour. Give an occasional stir to avoid sticking, and stir more frequently as it nears completion. Be careful, as the hot liquid can splatter as you stir! When it's thickened and looks like chutney as opposed to tomato sauce, it’s done. A good test is to poor a small spoonful onto a plate you've kept in the freezer. If it congeals and seems spreadable, it's done. Spoon into sterilized jars and process in a water bath for 15 minutes, or store in a glass or ceramic container in the fridge for up to 1 month.