We should probably be storing our tomato chutney for future months when summer tomatoes are but a distant memory. But once we started thinking about the combination of sweet and tangy chutney with creamy Cotswold cheese, there was no turning back. It was time for grilled cheese.
Tomato chutney is at once rich, sweet, and tart. Our recipe calls for simmering tomatoes, shallots, and golden raisins with brown sugar, apple cider vinegar, and aromatic spices like mustard seeds, coriander, and cloves. The resulting relish is the perfect complement to sharp cheeses like Cheddar or Cotswold (a Double Gloucester cheese with chives). To make a hearty sandwich, butter up some whole grain bread, add slices of cheese and as much chutney as you like (spread the chutney between layers of cheese so the cheese melts evenly across the bread), and grill in a hot pan. So simple yet satisfying!
Here's our chutney recipe. It's fairly basic and there's room to adjust the seasonings depending on personal taste and how sweet or acidic your tomatoes are. We used a green heirloom variety for the chutney in this photo, but any ripe yet firm tomatoes work well.
Makes about 1 1/2 cups
1 tablespoon pickling spices*
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large shallot, chopped
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 pounds tomatoes, chopped (about 3 cups)
1/2 cup golden raisins
Tie the pickling spices in a piece of cheesecloth; set aside.
Heat the olive oil in a deep, non-reactive (stainless steel or enamel) saucepan over medium heat. Add the shallot and sauté until translucent.
Add all other ingredients to the saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes. Taste and adjust by adding more sugar, salt, or vinegar as desired. Simmer, stirring frequently, for another 30 minutes or until thickened.
Remove from heat, cool completely, and discard the pickling spices. (If, like us, you're extra fond of mustard seeds, you can pick them out of the cheesecloth packet and stir them into the chutney.) Transfer chutney to an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for up to a month. Chutney can also be frozen.
*Use any pickling spice mixture you like. Ours is a combination of mustard seeds, dill seeds, bay leaves, black pepper, coriander, chili, allspice, ginger, cinnamon, and cloves.
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(Image: Gregory Han)