Strolling happily into the grocery store, I couldn’t resist a display of beautiful nectarines. I instinctively picked one up, held it to my nose and took a deep breath. The smell was ripe and richly sweet, reminiscent of its cousin the peach. Like big baseballs of burgundy, red and gold, their skin was smooth and soft. Who could resist. I had to bring a few pounds home to make nectarine and tomato chutney.
Nectarine Chutney – A Summer Treasure
Besides eating one out of hand, I love to make nectarine chutney. For me, it’s one of the pleasures of summer cooking. Nectarine tomato chutney is a quick and delicious accompaniment to chicken, pork tenderloin, or even fish. Spread a thick layer on a turkey sandwich or turkey burger for a fantastic twist. Plop some on a plate next to skewers of sizzling grilled shrimp.
So what is chutney? According to The New Food Lovers Companion (a must have reference book for any food lover), chutney is a spicy condiment that contains fruit, vinegar, sugar and spices with textures ranging from smooth to chunky and from mild to hot in terms of spice.
As many chutney recipes do, this recipe uses curry powder. Like chili powder, curry powder is a blend of spices. These aromatic blends range from mild and sweet to pungent and hot. I prefer mild curry powder. Curry powders are usually a blend of turmeric, coriander, cumin, fenugreek, ginger, nutmeg, fennel, cinnamon, white pepper, cardamom, cloves, black pepper and cayenne pepper.
Nectarine and Tomato Chutney
- 1 pound ripe but firm nectarines skinned, flesh cut from the pit and diced small
- 2 Roma tomatoes quartered, seeded and diced small, juices drained
- 1 large garlic clove chopped fine
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar or fruit vinegar
- 3 tablespoons packed light brown sugar or raw coconut crystals
- 1 teaspoon curry powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- In a 2-quart heavy saucepan simmer nectarines, tomato, garlic, vinegar, brown sugar, curry powder, and salt, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened but still saucy, about 20 minutes. Serve warm, room temperature or cooled. What you don’t use will keep for a few days refrigerated.