Have you ever done something, knowing it wasn’t a good idea from the get-go, but you do it anyways? That basically describes my daily decision making process. Luckily, most of these ideas are pretty innocent. Case in point – I am relatively new to gardening but still should have know better than to put tomato plants in my 4′ x 12′ raised bed. I mean, how big can a tomato plant really get? Well, it turns out, freaking huge. Like, the wing span of an eagle huge (ok, I have no idea how big an eagle’s wing span is, but the plants reached at least 3 feet long in two directions, so it was probably close). In the end, the two cherry tomato plants, along with 4 tomatillo plants (which also should not have planted in a raised bed, duh) took over about two-thirds of the garden. You can hardly tell what is going on in the picture below but as you can see, the plants spilled out in all directions.
I really can’t complain though – I had an almost daily supply of Sun Gold cherry tomatoes for two months. No cherry tomato’s flavor can compete, in my humble opinion. Plus, my 3-year-old happily ate them without any cajoling (it really is amazing to see what kids will eat when they are involved in planting and harvesting their own food).
But all good things must come to an end and it was time to yank the plants out to make way for my fall garden. My plants were still covered with green tomatoes and I just couldn’t let them go to waste. Lucky for my belly, I remembered a super easy and tasty green tomato chutney recipe I tried once last year (in case you have been living under a rock, this is a nice history of chutney). The recipe is from Americas Test Kitchen’s DIY Cookbook and it couldn’t be easier – toss everything in a pot…
…bring to a boil, then simmer until thickened. And with cherry tomatoes, there isn’t any chopping involved (you will have to chop regular green tomatoes up into 1″ pieces if you go that route). In 45 minutes to an hour (once a wooden spoon leaves a trail when dragged across the bottom), you have a homemade chutney!
There are lots of things to do with a chutney but my favorite include pairing it with cheese and crackers. If you are looking for more options, I like this list. Let me know how you use it!