When the growing season provides you with an abundance of produce, find a variety of ways to preserve it to enjoy throughout the year. Right now, squash is about to burst onto the market (our local food initiative is a great way for us to follow the seasonal food cycle), and one of our favourite recipes in which to use it is in this chutney.
Make more than you think you will need, many a dinner guest has requested a jar to take home
COURGETTE CHUTNEY by River Cottage
Time honoured traditional Indian spices turn a pan-full of courgettes into a superb chutney to enjoy with just about everything; cheese, cold meats, curries etc.
1kg courgettes, green or yellow
2 tablespoons salt
2 medium onions
4-5 large cloves garlic
1 red chilli (more if you want to increase the heat)
25g root ginger
100ml sunflower oil
2 tablespoons black mustard seed
1 tablespoon coriander seed
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon turmeric
300 ml cider vinegar
225g Demerara sugar
Start by wiping the courgettes over and cutting off the stalks.
Chop into 5-6mm pieces (for larger courgettes cut lengthwise and then slice).
Place in colander and sprinkle with the salt. Stand the colander over a bowl and leave for a couple of hours.
The salt will draw out excess water from the courgettes and will prevent the courgettes going mushy when they are cooked.
Meanwhile, peel the onion, garlic cloves, ginger and de-seed the chilli.
Place these four ingredients in a blender and blitz well to form a paste.
Rinse the courgettes with plenty of cold water and dry well.
Heat the oil a large roomy saucepan. Sprinkle in the mustard and coriander seeds and fry for a 3-4 minutes.
Add the ground cumin and turmeric. Keep shaking the pan to prevent the spices burning.
Add the onion paste and cook with the spices for 4-5 minutes. Add the courgettes, vinegar and the sugar.
Stir well and bring to simmering point over a medium heat. Reduce the heat and let the mixture cook slowly until the courgettes have softened and the liquid has reduced.
This will take approximately 45 minutes.
Pot the chutney whilst still hot in sterilised jars packing down with a spoon to remove any air pockets. Seal with vinegar proof lids.
Store in a cool, dark place.