Preserving Summer; A Chutney-Making Party

Once a year, creative director James Dunlinson, and his prop stylist partner Alistair Turnbull, ritually make their end-of-summer tomato chutney. James likes to use a recipe adapted from Nigel Slater, which has red tomatoes in it, as well as green. The green ones to diminish a glut that will never ripen, and the Red, to add sweetness and color. With Fall approaching, the chutney will be used as an accompaniment to luscious pork dishes, juicy chicken dishes, as well as sliced meats and cheeses.

Luckily for me; I was invited over to attend their yearly ‘chutney-making bash’. I needed to be at their apartment by 2, with plenty of Rosé, and a plethora of dairy wedges—including a raw milk Brie, a farmhouse cheddar—and an oozing stinky Stilton. I had secretly hoped we’d all get to eat the cheeses with our newly made chutney, but no such luck! The warm chutney definitely needs to sit for a day or two before eating, to build up flavors (Optimum: 1, to 2 weeks). Which gives you something to look forward to in the upcoming, cooler months. Simple and easy to make, chutney is a bright way to make Summer endless.


(THE PIC ABOVE: Cheeses, Rosé wine, and a retro tablecloth ‘Map of Australia’ —a cheeky nod to my background, from my generous hosts)

A combination of Green plus Red tomatoes (which are added, for sweetness) makes the best Tomato Chutney

Set up a couple of chopping boards and small dishes of all the ingredients, and encourage everyone to start chopping!

Once chopped and left to simmer, it’s luscious and beautiful. Smell the flavors and spices come together.

James spoons the hot chutney into jars or various sizes. The larger wide neck ones will go in his pantry to be opened when sizable dinner parties happen. The smaller ones— are great to give away as gifts.

James prefers to sterilize his jars in the oven at 200 degrees, for 20 minutes on a baking tray—the lids as well. Use the jars while still warm. This recipe will make at least 4 + jars worth. 

Halve 4 lbs of both green and red tomatoes. Put only the Green tomato in a stainless steel or enamelled pan with about 6 oz of Raisins, 1 lb of Light Muscovado Sugar, 1.5 lbs of roughly chopped Onions, 2 medium sized Hot Red Chillies, 2 teaspoons of Salt, 4 teaspoons of Mustard Seeds, and 2 and a half cups of White Wine Vinegar. Bring to boil, then turn down to simmer. After 25 minutes, add the Ripe Tomatoes and continue to simmer for another 35 minutes. (An hour of simmering time in total). Spoon into sterilized jars, and seal.


Photographs by Paul Raeside.
To check out his work, check here.


To see Alistair Turnbull’s work, check here.
To check out James Dunlinson’s book, check here.


3 thoughts on “Preserving Summer; A Chutney-Making Party

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