Monday, June 10, 2013

Yellow Squash and Tomato Chutney

     At the end of last summer, we found ourselves with an alarming surplus of produce. We had more squash and tomatoes than we knew what to do with. Fortunately, we have learned the benefits of canning our own food. This weekend, it was nice to pop open a jar of food we canned last year and enjoy the tastes of last summer. One of our favorite things to can has become chutney. It's versatile and delicious. The Yellow Squash and Tomato Chutney recipe I'm sharing today comes from PreserveIt! from DK Publishing.
     I'm not going to give all the details for canning. It would take forever. However, go to the National Center for Home Food Preservation for full details on how to safely can food. PreserveIt! also has lots of good information on safely processing food for canning. Please take the time to read up and familiarize yourself with the procedures involved in canning. Safety first. Always remember, if you poison yourself by preserving the food incorrectly, I had nothing to do with it.
As always, notes and substitutions are in blue. 

Yellow Squash and Tomato Chutney
via PreserveIt!


  • 1 lb. summer squash, trimmed and diced
  • 1/2 lb. onions, coarsely chopped (we used sweet onions, figuring it would be a nice complement to the overall flavor)
  • 3/4 lb. ripe tomatoes, coarsely chopped
  • 1-3/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 1-1/4 cup white wine vinegar
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1/2 inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped (I have no recollection of using ginger in this, but if I did, it wasn't fresh. I never have fresh ginger on hand. It would have been a comparable amount of ground ginger, or a piece of candied ginger. Maybe I'll consider making this sober next time.)
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • Good pinch of sweet paprika (what qualifies as a good pinch? Maybe it's regional. I probably used a bit less than a 1/4 teaspoon)
  • Good pinch of ground white pepper (again with the good pinch! Can I do a bad pinch? Is that where I spill it all over the place trying to get it out of the jar with my fingers?)
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt 
  1. Put all the ingredients in a preserving pan or large, heavy-bottomed, stainless-steel saucepan
  2. Bring slowly to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Reduce the heat and simmer for 2-1/2 hours or until a wooden spoon drawn across the base of the pan leaves a trail. Stir frequently toward the end so the chutney doesn't burn (or you could be OCD like me and stir every 15 minutes or so). If necessary, turn up the heat toward the end of cooking and boil rapidly until thick and glossy (every time I've made chutney I've had to do this. It always takes me longer than the stated time to get the desired results. I think on average, my total cooking time on this is closer to 3 hours. As always, start with the original recipe suggestion, then go from there). 
  3. Pack the chutney into warm, sterilized mason jars (use half-pint or pint jars, a quart jar of chutney is going to take forever to process in a boiling water bath). Leave 1/4 inch headspace (if you've never canned, headspace is referring to the space between the top of the food in the jar and the rim of the jar. If you over fill, the jar can pop the lid or burst when you process it), make sure there are no air gaps in the ingredients (just poke around in the jar with a chopstick or butter knife to work out the air bubbles)
  4. Seal with a two-part top and process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes (for half-pint jars. Do closer to 12-13 for pints. Then comes the best part, you take the jars out and put them on a towel. When you hear a loud, metallic "thunk!" the jars have sealed. We love that sound.)
  5. Store in a cool, dark place. Allow to sit for one month before opening. Refrigerate after opening.
Good times!

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