I've been proud of myself all week. Instead of letting the summer garden rot and become a disgraceful mess, I got out there and cleaned up. I harvested the last of the cucumbers; planted some cabbage, kale, broccoli, and brussel sprouts; weeded; picked green tomatoes off blighted plants. Normally, by the time summer is over, I feel loads of shame that I haven't been a better gardener and I avert my eyes whenever I walk past my garden. Part of the all-or-nothing propensity that hasn't served me very well in life. I'd like to think I'm getting away from that.
Apparently, tomatoes on the counter in September is like Vegas for fruit flies. They go ape, hanging out, whooping it up. They've been a total menace lately. So even though I was dead tired the other night, I chopped up my tomatoes and threw them in a saucepan with a few other things and let it bubble away while I watched Oprah.
The result was delicious. With crackers and goat cheese, in a galette crust with brie and parmesan. You could also spoon it over polenta or grilled sausages or make a quesadilla with a bit of sharp cheddar.
Here's to really believing one of my favorite mantras: Good enough is good enough. Martha Stewart's gardening calendar be damned.
Green Tomato Chutney
You can deal with the tomato skins in one of two ways. You can either blanch them in boiling water for one minute to loosen the skins, or do what I do. Just cook everything, then pick through with a spoon and fork and remove the skins. Most of them will have fallen off and curled up into little cylinders during cooking. Of course you could make this chutney with ripe tomatoes, too, but part of its charm is the tartness that comes from the green ones.
2-3 lbs. tomatoes in various stages of ripeness, coarsely chopped
1 Tb. olive oil
1/2 red onion, finely chopped
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. red wine vinegar
2 Tb. chopped fresh rosemary
2 Tb. chopped fresh ginger
dash of red pepper flakes
Heat oil in a large saucepan. Add onion and ginger and saute until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the rest of ingredients, bring to a boil, then turn heat down and simmer for about 45 minutes, until mixture is thickened, tasting a few times and adding more of anything to taste. Remove from heat, let it cool, then store in the fridge. Will keep for at least a week, and will thicken up a bit more when cold.
To make a galette, spread about 1/2 c. of your chutney over galette dough. Lay about 4 oz. of sliced brie over the chutney and grate parmesan over the whole thing. Fold the dough in to form a crust, then bake at 375 for 30-40 minutes, until crust is golden.