Most people that grow zucchinis in Tasmania seem to think the plants produce too much – I can never have enough of them – whether it’s grating them up and sneaking them into delicious chocolate mud cake, adding them to roast veggies for the last 10 minutes of roasting, grating and mixing them into a chickpea flour batter and frying as fritters, there are so many uses for them. Here is another way to use this vegetable, in a chutney that will probably keep for 12 months in the cupboard. It’s a small batch so if you’ve never made your own chutney before this is a nice one to try.
I’m growing costata romanesco zucchini this season (I think this is the third year in a row that I’ve grown it), it’s a really tasty Italian heirloom variety – so it’s GMO-free and easy to save the seeds.
Making your own chutneys and sauces is actually really easy and affordable. With shop-bought organic chutneys and relishes often being ridiculously expensive with weird stuff like xanthan gum and anonymous ‘natural flavour’ added to them it can be worthwhile to make your own, even if you don’t grow any veggies.
I based this recipe with the same amounts of fruit, sugar and vinegar as a pumpkin chutney recipe from Good Home Preserving. With the right jar preparation the pumpkin chutney recipe keeps for 12 months, so I imagine that this one will keep well too. The trick is to sterilise your jars with heat before filling, and to tip them upside down after filling until they cool down. I use this same trick for jams and sauces.
The flavourings I use in this recipe are reminiscent of a typical English chutney or relish. Feel free to change the spices, as long as the main ingredients are the same this recipe will work.
Gluten-free, soy-free, low fat, sugar-free option
Kitchen time 10-15 minutes. Cooking time 1 hour.
Makes around 1100ml/1.1 quart/4 2/3 cups)
300g (10.58oz) rapadura, sucanat, coconut sugar or raw sugar
300g (10.58oz) apple cider vinegar
700g (1.54lb) zucchini, diced
1 small carrot (or extra zucchini), diced (50-100g/1.76-3.2oz)
200g (7.05oz) diced tomatoes, or tomato purée/crushed tomatoes
50g (1.76oz) sultanas or raisins
1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
125g (4.4oz) onions, diced
1 1/2 teaspoons yellow mustard powder (or yellow mustard seeds, crushed in a pestle and mortar)
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1 heaped teaspoon Himalayan salt, or natural sea salt
3 cloves, ground (or 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves)
Rinse enough jars out with very hot water (preferably boiling). Place upside down, directly on the racks of a cold oven. Heat the oven up to 120c (250f).
Combine all the ingredients in a large saucepan or stockpot over medium-low heat. Stir every now and then until the sugar is dissolved. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer, with the lid off, for around an hour.
When the chutney has finished cooking, bring a small pot of water to the boil. Add the pot lids or gaskets and boil for 30-60 seconds, carefully remove the lids and place upside down on a clean tea towel to dry.
Carefully remove the hot jars from the oven. Fill them up with the hot chutney (I place a wide-mouthed funnel over the jars and use a soup ladle to add the chutney). Screw the jar lids on tightly and turn upside down until thoroughly cold. Turn the right way up and store in a cupboard, it will probably keep for 12 months. It will taste best after it’s been in the cupboard for a couple of weeks, but it’s still good to enjoy right away. Once the jars are opened, keep them in the fridge.
Great served with mildly flavoured seitan sausages such as pumpkin seed, lentil and herb from High Protein Vegan, or burgers such as chickpea schnitzel patties or bean and sunflower seed rissoles from ‘High Protein Vegan’, or the lentil burgers from Triumph of the Lentil.
P.S. I have more recipes coming up on this blog soon. To ensure that you get to see them subscribe to the mailing list on the right hand side of this page to get blog posts by email – I don’t send spam, just blog posts which are not that frequent and always have a recipe or something useful in them. Facebook is making it really difficult for blog pages to get news out to people that like the page, so even if you ‘like’ the Triumph of the Lentil Blog page, you may not find out about new posts unless you follow this blog by email or Twitter.
At this time of year in Tasmania home veggie gardens are typically full of zucchinis. If you can pick them fast enough with the flowers still attached they are excellent baked or fried in a chickpea flour batter, when they’re small they are great sautéed or baked in some olive oil and salt, when they’re big they can be grated and used in cakes or breads. I created this recipe a few weeks ago when my neighbour’s daughter had way more zucchinis in her garden than she could possibly eat, and was trying to find people to eat them for her. After making chocolate zucchini mud cake I still had some left, and made this from it:
Shallow frying these in olive oil makes them extra delicious. To shallow fry them pour olive oil into a frying pan until it is around half a centimetre (1/5 inch) high. Turn the heat onto a medium-high temperature and wait for it to heat up. You will know when the oil is ready by gently tilting the pan and then placing it flat again – little squiggly lines will appear in the oil very quickly when it is ready and then it is important to put the fritters in right away.
Soy-free, gluten-free. Serves 2.
Zucchini fritter ingredients:
500g zucchini (1.1 lb)
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup chickpea flour
3/4 cup water
olive oil, for shallow frying
Grate the zucchini and place it in a tea towel. Mix in the salt and leave it to sit while you prepare the salsa.
Squeeze all the liquid out of the zucchini using the tea towel and then place in a bowl. Mix in the chickpea flour, then slowly add the water, a little at a time.
Heat the oil for shallow frying as described above. When it is ready scoop bits of the zucchini mixture up with a tablespoon and place in the oil, spreading it out slightly to make it flat, but not pressing it down. Continue with the rest of the mixture then leave to fry until the bottoms are golden-brown, 2-5 minutes. Flip over and fry until the other side is golden-brown, a couple of minutes, then serve right away with the salsa, a green salad and some fresh bread (or another grain dish or potatoes).
Avocado salsa ingredients:
1 ripe avocado
1 big tomato
half a medium-sized red onion
1 tablespoon lemon juice (around half a lemon)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon paprika
Chop the avocado and tomato into fairly small pieces and place in a bowl. Slice the onion into very tiny pieces, separating them first, and then placing in the bowl with the avocado and tomato. Add the lemon juice, salt, cumin and paprika and gently mix with a spoon until evenly combined.