Green Tomato Chutney

Another month and a half passed, and  finally time to post another recipe. It’s the end of summer here in Napa, and time to rip out the last few beds. I always end up with a bunch of green tomatoes, they tried, but the sun let them down. There are also usually a bunch of unused habanero chilies. I tried drying them last year, but they turn into useless brown skeletons. This year, I put both to good use.

Green tomato chutney ingredients

Green tomato chutney ingredients

8 lbs. green tomatoes, cored and coarsely chopped
10 oz. habanero chilies, stemmed, mostly seeded, and coarsely chopped
1.5 oz. black mustard seeds
1/2 oz. kashmiri chili, ground (or substitute cayenne for more heat and less flavor)

1/2 oz. coriander seed
1/4 oz. cardamom seed
1/4 oz. cumin seed

1 1/2 oz. garlic, crushed
2 oz. fresh ginger, peeled and sliced across the grain very thinly
6 oz. apple cider vinegar

1/8 oz. ground allspice
2 1/2 oz. Kosher salt
2 lbs. dark brown sugar
2 lbs. golden raisins

Carefully measure and prepare all ingredients as indicated.

Combine the coriander seed, cardamon seed, and cumin seed in a small saute pan, and place over medium heat. Cook, tossing regularly, until the aroma becomes pronounced and the seeds begin to pop, then transfer to a spice grinder, and grind smooth.


Combine the garlic, ginger, and apple cider vinegar in a blender.


(I use a little smoothie machine I got for cheap on Amazon. It comes with a large and small canister and two blade bases. Works great for lots of small pureeing jobs.)


Process until completely smooth.



Combine all ingredients in a suitable pot, and place over medium heat, covered.


When the mixture becomes hot and begins to wilt, stir to combine evenly.


Continue to cook, stirring regularly to prevent sticking.


After an hour of simmering, the chutney will be almost done.


The final test is when the raisins have absorbed most of the liquid.


To conserve as a shelf-stable condiment, pack in canning jars, and process following manufacturer’s directions.

Sweet and spicy, this chutney is good for eating with cheese and crackers, or alongside roast chicken or pork.

Happy cooking!

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David Gingrass is a food and beverage operations professional with a career spanning more than three decades. His fascination with and love for food, wine and entertaining allows him to view his work as both a vocation and an avocation. Gingrass graduated from the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York then cooked in the Bay Area for two years before landing a job at Wolfgang Puck’s original Spago Restaurant in West Hollywood. There he learned to make the signature breads and sausages that he became known for at Postrio and Hawthorne Lane. He was soon promoted to kitchen manager and managed the operational and expense control aspects of Puck’s iconic restaurant for the next four years. Gingrass returned to San Francisco in 1989 when Puck tapped him and his then-wife Anne to open Postrio, Puck’s third restaurant and his first outside of Los Angeles. Postrio opened to rave reviews and soon became the #1 popular Bay Area restaurant in the prestigious Zagat survey. Five and a half years later, the opportunity to open a restaurant of his own presented itself. Hawthorne Lane opened in 1995 and was a San Francisco dining institution for over twelve years, catering to the likes of Julia Child, Jacques Pepin, Mayor Willie Brown, James Carville, President Clinton and First Lady Hilary Clinton. He closed Hawthorne Lane at the end of its fifteen-year lease in 2009 to build a consulting practice for the hospitality industry, sharing his wealth of culinary and operational experiences with new and existing restaurants, assisting them to become successful and profitable.