Savory Sweet by Beth Dooley and Mette Nielson (University of Minnesota Press, 2017) offers low-tech, simple, and fast ways to preserve food.This chutney is sweet, hot, and tangy.
Pomegranate molasses, available in Middle Eastern markets, is thick, sweet, and tangy and adds a depth of flavor to the mix. The Fresno pepper gives this just the right amount of heat.
If you can’t find cardamom seeds, use cardamom pods and crack them open to release the seeds. To open the pods and release the seeds, place them in a resealable plastic bag and smash them with a heavy rolling pin. To crush the seeds, either use a mortar and pestle or put the seeds back in the plastic bag and crush them with the rolling pin.
Stuff this chutney into a pita sandwich with crumbled feta. Serve it on top of bruschetta spread with chèvre. Set it out as a dip for pita chips. It’s lovely with roasted leg of lamb or lamb skewers or stirred into yogurt to top off a curry.
• 3 tablespoons olive oil
• 1 pound eggplant, unpeeled, coarsely chopped
• 1/2 pound tomatoes, coarsely chopped
• 1/2 cup sugar
• 1/4 cup lemon juice
• 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
• 1/4 cup minced poblano pepper, not seeded
• 2 tablespoons minced Fresno pepper, not seeded
• 2 tablespoons pomegranate molasses
• 2 teaspoons ground ginger
• 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 1/2 teaspoon cardamom seeds, crushed
1. Heat the oil in a 10-inch sauté pan, add the eggplant, and cook until the eggplant is soft and starts to take on color. Add the remaining ingredients, lower the heat a little, and simmer the chutney, stirring occasionally, until it becomes thick and jammy, about 10 minutes. The chutney is done when you can drag a spoon across the bottom and the mixture holds its shape.
2. Wash the jars, lids, and bands in very hot soapy water, rinse them well, and place them upside down on a clean towel to drain.
3. Spoon the chutney into the jars, leaving a half inch of headroom to allow for expansion during freezing. Wipe the rims with a clean wet cloth or paper towel, add the lids and bands, and finger tighten the bands.
4. Label the jars. Cool completely and tighten the bands before storing the jars in the refrigerator or freezer.
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Reprinted with permission from Savory Sweet by Beth Dooley and Mette Nielson and published by University of Minnesota Press © 2017.