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Tomato chutney by Tessa Bramley


(makes about 1.5kg)

20 plum tomatoes
Caster sugar
3 large red onions
3 crushed garlic cloves
150ml olive oil
250ml wine vinegar
4tbs demerara sugar
1tsp lightly crushed fennel seeds
2 sliced fresh red chillies
1 heaped tbs tomato purée
8 beef tomatoes
About 12 spring onions


Blanch the tomatoes in boiling water for about 12 seconds. Drain and refresh. Skin, halve and remove the seeds. Put the tomatoes on a rack over a shallow-sided baking tray. Sprinkle generously with salt and sugar. Dry out for three hours in an oven set at 90ºC (lowest gas setting).

Halve and slice the onions. Sweat them and the garlic in a third of the oil until softened but not coloured. Add vinegar, sugar, fennel seeds, chillies and tomato purée and simmer to amalgamate the flavours (five to 10 minutes).

Meanwhile, quarter and seed the beef tomatoes. Lay each quarter flat on a chopping board and slice off the skin.

Cut the tomato segments into strips. Add the fresh and oven-dried tomatoes to the pan and boil gently for five minutes.

Cut the spring onions on the slant. Add them to the pan and cook a little longer. They should remain quite firm. Season and stir in the rest of the oil.

Pour the hot chutney into warmed Kilner or similar preserving jars and seal – there is no need to sterilise the jars.  The chutney is ready to use straight away, served cold, or warmed through and used as a kind of savoury compote.

Tessa Bramley

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