Nearly courgette season, so worth saving for a little while until you’re overwhelmed. My recipe is adapted from Sarah Raven’s Garden Cookbook, which is very good. In this particular case, she says the recipe was given to her by the chef Paul Burton, taught to him by his grandmother. Since many of the quantities and even some of the method are not specified, I suspect that she didn’t actually try it herself.
Spices: 1 tablespoon coriander seeds, 1 tablespoon yellow mustard seeds, 1 teaspoon allspice seeds, 1 teaspoon dried chilli, half teaspoon black peppercorns, a piece of ginger, grated or chopped, half a tablespoon of salt and two or three bay leaves. You can crush the allspice and peppercorns a bit with a pestle and mortar if you like. And you can play about with the spices, of course, especially the chilli.
700g courgettes, cut into pieces about the size of raisins.
250g dried apricots, also chopped small
1 small apple, chopped
500ml white wine vinegar. I bought 5 litres very cheaply on Amazon and it was really good quality. I think cider vinegar would be just as good.
The recipe says to steep all the ingredients overnight, but it had you put the spices in a muslin bag, to be removed afterwards and it’s much nicer if you leave them in, so I don’t bother with the steeping any more.
Heat all the ingredients gently in a big pan until the sugar has dissolved, then cover and simmer until the courgette is translucent. Remove the lid and simmer until the liquid is syrupy. At least an hour altogether.
Pour into sterilised jars, it makes 5 or 6 pounds. It keeps well but is good straight away. It’s a fairly sweet chutney but, depending on the quantity of chilli, can have some zing.