I love the complex flavor of this chutney, delivered by a variety of spices and vegetables. The Lucini Cherry Infused Balsamic adds a rich sweetness, a bit of sour and actually helps to thicken the chutney. After trying a number of different vegetables to compliment the cherry tomatoes, i finally decided on fennel, which keeps some crunch despite the 30 minute simmer. The chilis and anchovies are optional, but I recommend both, as each helps fill out the complexity that makes this chutney so much fun. I use it as a sandwich spread (particularly turkey breast or roasted vegetable), an accompaniment to Indian takeout and a quick jazz to any bare vegetable preparation such as green beans or roasted brussel sprouts or . The recipe is easy to follow and requires a minimum of effort, but the simmer should be at least 30 minutes long.
1 pint Fresh (preferrably organic) cherry tomatoes (approximately 5 oz.)
1 small Onion, minced
1/4 cup Fresh fennel chopped small (any bruised or discolored stalks removed)
2 Garlic cloves
4 small Dried chilis (adjust to fit your own heat tolerance; 4 provides a noticeable bite, but no roar)
4 Coriander seeds
2 Black peppercorns
1/2 tsp Cumin seeds
1/8 tsp Nutmeg (cinammon works in a pich)
2 Tb Lucini Premium Select Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2/3 cup Brown sugar
1/2 cup Lucini Cherry Infused Balsamic
4 Anchovies (optional)
Saute the onion, fennel and garlic in the olive oil. Meanwhile, heat the chilis and other spices (coriander, peppercorns, cloves, cumin and nutmeg) in a pan until you can smell the fragrence start to be released. Grind the chilis and spices in a mortar and pestle or electric spice grinder. Add this mixture to the onion/fennel and stir well. Continue to cook until the onion is translucent. Add the tomatoes (washed) and anchovies (thoroughly rinsed). Stir well. Add the sugar, Cherry Infused Balsamic and salt and pepper to taste. Raise the heat to medium and cook until mixture reaches a boil, then turn down to low and simmer for 30 minutes. The tomatoes should be fully broken down and the chutney should be thick with a consistent reddish-brown tint. The chutney will be ready to go, but refrigerate any that you do not plan to serve immediately. A small splash of Lucini Chili – Infused Extra Virgin adds yet another facet to the flavor profile.
The chutney will keep for a month in your refrigerator.
I was inspired to make this dish when I noticed that Indian restaurants in my neighborhood seemed to be watering down their mango chutney well past the range of usefulness.