Roasting Plum Tomatoes: Comparing Two Approaches

By Cyndy Crist

Tomatoes #1 first out of oven (by Cyndy Crist)
Tomatoes #1 first out of oven (by Cyndy Crist)

With the local tomato season winding down, I decided last weekend to buy more than the usual quantities of both plum and beefsteak tomatoes and prepare them to freeze for later use.  My initial plan for the plums was to freeze them whole, but careless storage for a couple of days after bringing them home left me with too many that had bad spots needing to be removed to make that feasible. So instead I tried two approaches to roasting them (I’ll post soon about the beefsteaks).

I started by searching on Epicurious and several other sites using the terms “roasted tomatoes” and “baked tomatoes,” thinking that my preferred approaches with the plum tomatoes would fall under the “roasted” heading and of the beefsteaks under the “baked” heading.  What I found was little apparent consistency regarding the use of those two terms.  Generally, the term “roasted” seems to imply higher temperatures and more oven time. However, some baked tomato recipes called for higher oven temps than did some of the roasted recipes, and the amount of time suggested varied as well.  I guess the difference is in the eye (or taste buds) of the beholder.

Given the wide array of approaches, I decided to select two that varied in several respects.  These included whether to roast the tomatoes with the cut sides up or down; whether or not to remove the seeds and membranes; and how to season them.  The points of consistency were that both called for olive oil, garlic, and salt; both specified an oven temperature of 375 degrees; and both suggested a total oven time of about 60 minutes.

Roasting tomatoes on parchment paper (by Cyndy Crist)
Tomatoes #1 ready for oven (by Cyndy Crist)

The first recipe I followed directed me to line a baking sheet with parchment paper, toss one and a half pounds of tomatoes with one tablespoon of olive oil, ¾ tablespoon of oregano, and salt; put 1-2 unpeeled garlic cloves on the baking sheet; and place the tomatoes, cut side down, on the parchment paper, drizzling over any oil, juices, and seasoning remaining in the bowl.  Per the recipe, I roasted them for 30 minutes, then removed the garlic cloves and turned the tomatoes over, and roasted them further (the directions suggested another 30 minutes, but I removed them after about 15 because the oil and parchment paper were both beginning to burn).  I found it very difficult to turn the tomatoes over after 30 minutes of roasting and wondered, based on my experience and the approximate number of tomatoes suggested for the recommended weight, if the problems was that my tomatoes were smaller than those envisioned by the recipe.

Oven ready tomatoes #2 (by Cyndy Crist)
Oven ready tomatoes #2 (by Cyndy Crist)

The second recipe I used directed me to remove the seeds and membranes from the tomatoes and let them drain, cut side down, for 15 minutes; then toss them with olive oil (3 tablespoons for about a pound of tomatoes), salt, pepper, rosemary, and one minced garlic clove and let them marinate for 15 minutes; and place them, cut side up, on an oiled baking sheet.  To ensure more even roasting, I turned the sheet around after 30 minutes, and as with the first recipe, ended up removing it 15 minutes early because the oil was beginning to burn, putting the tomatoes in danger or burning as well.

Tomatoes #1 done (by Cyndy Crist)
Tomatoes #1 done (by Cyndy Crist)

I engaged my husband in a taste test and we both liked the results of the second recipe better because of more intense flavor and a firmer, meatier texture.  I think the presence of garlic scattered across these tomatoes helped their flavor as well, but in fairness I had neglected to do anything with the whole roasted garlic cloves in the first recipe before we tasted them.

A few additional observations: recipe two gave me tomatoes that more closely fit my idea of what roasted tomatoes should be like in terms of both flavor and texture.  The unseeded tomatoes, though, had a plumper texture that I think will work well in dishes in which more moisture will be a benefit (sauces and soups especially come to mind).   Herbs could obviously be varied in many ways for the tomatoes depending on anticipated future uses, or could be omitted to increase the options for later incorporation into dishes.

Tomatoes #2 done (by Cyndy Crist)
Tomatoes #2 done (by Cyndy Crist)

I’m also interested in trying the full recipes from which I drew these two approaches to roasted plum tomatoes, both found on Epicurious.  The unseeded version was included in a recipe for a roasted tomato and almond pesto tossed with pasta.  The moister tomatoes that resulted from this approach would be perfect for the dense sauce that would result, and I’ll bet it would be as good made with walnuts or pine nuts as almonds.  The seeded version called for topping the warm tomatoes with crumbled Stilton cheese and then tucking in watercress between the tomatoes before serving.  I think this would make a lovely first course and can imagine substituting Parmesan cheese and arugula, or goat cheese and baby spinach, with equally good results.

Ultimately, since flavor is key and the time required to seed the tomatoes minimal, I’m more likely to use the second recipe in the future. But I’m glad to be able to compare and contrast the results of these two approaches. And who knows, come winter, when I thaw and use my frozen roasted tomatoes, I may find myself liking the plumper, juicier version just as well.  In any case, I think I’ll be glad to have a choice.

Heirloom Tomato Relish to Accompany (and enhance) Brats, Chops, & Steaks

Heirloom Tomato Relish for Brats, Chops & Steaks
Heirloom Tomato Relish for Brats, Chops & Steaks


There are so many dishes that fresh heirloom tomatoes will enhance, and it seems a race sometimes to get them all in before the season ends.  This heirloom tomato relish is a snap to make and is a wonderful enhancement to any end-of-the-season grilling.  It will also take crock-pot pulled pork to new heights.  My most recent use of this flavor-filled relish was to layer it on tostadas with a carnita filling (see photo below).



Heirloom Tomato Relish for Brats, Chops & Steaks

(adapted from recipe in Bon Appetit)

Heirloom Tomato Relish
Heirloom Tomato Relish


  • 3/4  tsp coarse kosher salt
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 lb. orange & yellow heirloom tomatoes, coarsely chopped  (high-flavor varieties to try include Juane Flamme, Persimmon Orange, Kelloggs, Manyel, & Limmony)
  • 1/2 cup pimiento-stuffed olives, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 cup capers, drained
  • 2-3 Tbsp fresh lime juice, squeezed juice of 1/2 large lime
  • 2 red jalapenos, chopped (use green jalapenos if cannot find red)
  • 1 tsp fresh oregano or thyme (optional)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Place 1/2 tsp coarse salt on work surface and garlic cloves on top of salt.  Chop cloves into the salt, alternating with mashing the cloves into the salt with the flat part of the knife, until you have a fresh garlic paste more or less.  Transfer garlic paste to medium size bowl.
  2. Add tomatoes and the rest of the ingredients to bowl and toss to blend.  Season with salt and pepper
  3. Let stand at room temperature while preparing the meat that will accompany the relish.


Heirloom Tomato Relish with Carnitas
Heirloom Tomato Relish with Carnitas



Serve alongside steak, pork chops, or atop brats enclosed in buns.  I also used this relish as a topping or layer for these pulled pork tostadas and it was wonderful.


Grilled Scallops with Heirloom Tomato Jam over Cheese Polenta

Grilled Scallops with Tomato Jam over Cheddar Polenta
Grilled Scallops with Tomato Jam over Cheddar Polenta

Scallops are way up there on my list of favorite foods, and they couldn’t be quicker or easier to cook.  Combining scallops with a jam made from our heirloom tomatoes and paired with a cheesy polenta was over-the-top delicious.  Although I have always loved eating polenta, I have never actually made it, thinking it was too fussy to deal with.  This polenta was as easy as could be however, and cooked up perfect in about 5 minutes.  An alternative to polenta which would be just as scrumptious would be a fresh sweet corn puree.

Since we make and sell the heirloom tomato jam (HeathGlen’s jams), I just used a jar of our jam off the shelf and heated it up for the sauce.   I’ve included an easy alternative to making a simple tomato jam/sauce with this recipe, however, if you would rather make your own.  Either way, you’ll get wonderful results!

Grilled Scallops with Heirloom Tomato Jam over Cheese Polenta

(adapted from a recipe found in CuisineAtHome)


  • 3-6 strips bacon, diced
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 8-oz. jar heirloom tomato jam (see below to make your own version)
  • 16 large sea scallops (about 16 oz.)
  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 3/4 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1 cup shredded sharp Cheddar cheese (4 0z); I have used Gouda also for a more mellow taste
  • 1/4 cup chopped scallions (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp each dosher salt and hot pepper sauce


  1. Preheat grill to medium-high heat.
  2. Fry bacon pieces in large skillet and pour off most of drippings.
  3. Make tomato jam (below) or add jar of tomato jam to a small saucepan and gently heat until consistency of sauce
  4. Using two skewers for each kebab, thread three to four scallops for each serving, set aside
  5. Start polenta:  Bring water and milk to boil in large saucepan over medium heat.
  6. While waiting for water/milk to come to boil, place scallops on grill.  Grill both sides until cooked through 3-4 minutes per side.  Watch timing for scallops while making polenta.  Scallops will get rubbery if cooked too long.  Better to undercook rather than overcook.
  7. When water-milk mixture has come to boil, gradually whisk in cornmeal.  Cook, stirring often, until polenta is thick, about 3 minutes (cooking time will vary according to type of cornmeal.  3 minutes was for ground cornmeal, not coarse).

To make Tomato Jam-Sauce:


  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp. sugar
  • 2 Tbsp minced scallions
  • 1 1/2 tsp lime juice
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 2 medium tomatoes, diced
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste


  1. Whisk together oil, vinegar, sugar, scallions, lime juice and pepper flakes.
  2. Stir mixture into skillet that bacon was cooked in (along with bacon still in it), and heat through
  3. Turn off heat and stir in tomatoes.  Season with salt and pepper and cover to keep warm.

To serve:  Place a serving of polenta on each plate and top with scallop skewer.  Drizzle tomato jam-sauce over scallops and polenta.

Cold Soups for Warm, Late Summer Meals: A Tale of Four Gazpachos

by Cyndy Crist

Four Different Gazpachos (by Cyndy Crist)
Four Different Gazpachos (by Cyndy Crist)

Although we’re creeping closer to fall, it’s still cold soup season as far as I’m concerned, and a number of recent blog posts and foodie e-mails have made it clear that I’m not the only one who thinks so.  Sure, the nights may be getting a little cooler and the mid-summer humidity may be diminishing, but there are undoubtedly still be plenty of warm days ahead.  Whether you’re a working adult with kids back in school or simply a busy person, having a pitcher or bowl of cold soup on hand, ready to pour or spoon out for a quick meal, can be a real life-saver.

Happily, cold soups are relatively quick and easy to make and will stay fresh for days in the refrigerator.  Gazpacho is one of the cold soups with the longest traditions, and there are many ways to make it.  It is interesting to read the array of opinions about what comprises “real” gazpacho.  For example, although most of us today likely think of it as a tomato-based soup, its origins in Spain pre-date the arrival in Europe of tomatoes, native to Mexico and Central America.  Instead, bread was the essential ingredient, pounded with water, vinegar, salt, garlic, and olive oil.  On the other hand, I had a good friend who spent years in Spain and married a Spaniard who swore that bread had no place in gazpacho.  Go figure!

Regardless of its history, today it appears to be made most commonly from tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, onions, olive oil, vinegar, garlic, and seasonings (and sometimes bread).  Because its flavor rests primarily on the quality of its fresh ingredients, I wait to make it until they all are available from local growers.  The recipe I have used most often is from the first Barefoot Contessa cookbook.  It’s straight-forward and calls for standard ingredients.

I vary it by using sherry vinegar, replacing tomato juice with more fresh tomatoes, and adding a little Piment d’Espelette (Basque red pepper) for a bit of spice.  Sometimes I’ll adjust the quantity of tomatoes I use based on what kind I’ve been able to find and how meaty or juicy they are. And if I’m unable to find English or hothouse cucumbers, I partially peel tougher-skinned varieties. You’ll find the complete recipe below along with notes about how I tweak it.

I like using red peppers and red onions, as specified in Ina’s recipe, which give the gazpacho a lovely deep, tomato-red color.  But my imagination was sparked by a recent post on that lovely-to-look-at blog by Beatrice Peltre, La Tartine Gourmande.  She wrote about making gazpacho using only yellow or orange tomatoes and peppers, and the same week, Food and Wine magazine’s “The Dish” included a recipe for Tangy Green Zebra gazpacho.  So I decided to try making my own rainbow of soups.

The Tangy Green Zebra recipe called for lime juice, mint, cilantro, jalapeno, and avocado in addition to the traditional tomato, cucumber, onion, and garlic. I didn’t have any cilantro on hand and I had only bought a green bell pepper, so I added a bit of lime zest and splash of hot sauce to “up” the tang, and I decided to hold the avocado until the soup was served.  From my initial tasting, I found this one refreshing and really liked what the lime and mint added. I do want to try it with avocado and cilantro, perhaps serving it with corn chips and a dollop of sour cream.

In making the yellow gazpacho, I decided to follow the “citrus for acid” approach and substituted fresh lemon juice for vinegar.  I also decided to peel the cucumber before pulsing it in the food processor to maintain a purer yellow color. Beyond that, I used what I think of as the typical ingredients – tomatoes, pepper, onion, garlic, and olive oil in addition to the previously mentioned ingredients.  This one has the lightest flavor of the four gazpachos I made and is very refreshing.  I think it would be tasty garnished with chopped, boiled shrimp or hard-boiled eggs.

For the orange gazpacho, I decided to leave the peel on the cucumber to see how it would look, and I frankly liked the little flecks of green, which gave it a fresh and hearty appearance.  For the acid in this one, I decided to use Melfor Condiment, an Alsacian vinegar that is made using honey and herbs and is slightly lighter and sweeter than an average vinegar.  I thought it gave the soup a lovely flavor and that overall this one came a little closer in taste than the others to “typical” gazpacho.  La Tartine Gourmande showed it garnished with flakes of crab, and I think a crumbly white cheese would be tasty, too.

There are two other variations on gazpacho that I want to try but haven’t yet. One is gazpacho made using watermelon.  I think I’d like the sweetness the melon would impart, as well as the beautiful color, and suspect its texture would somewhat mimic that of cucumber.  A watermelon-tomato gazpacho recipe offered on-line in “The Dish” included hot chili pepper, garlic, and red wine vinegar along with the watermelon and tomatoes and called for serving the soup with a dollop of crab salad made using lemon juice, buttermilk, olive oil, avocado, and poblano pepper.

Gazpacho Shots (by Cyndy Crist)
Gazpacho Shots (by Cyndy Crist)

The other variation that intrigues me, and which could be made any time of year, is white gazpacho. Most recipes I’ve seen include green grapes, almonds, and bread, and one found in the same edition of “The Dish” as the green and watermelon gazpachos included cooked cauliflower, bread, pine nuts, garlic, shallots, cucumber, almonds, sherry vinegar, and olive oil.  Although this one would, in both flavor and texture, be the most unlike tomato gazpacho, I think it’s worth a try.

One more thought about gazpacho.  My husband likes big bowls of it, while I prefer gazpacho served in a smaller quantity.  And going really small, when I entertain large groups of people, I love to serve soup shots.  They require no silverware, look really beautiful on a tray, and give me an opportunity to use the array of small glasses I’ve acquired over the years.  But if you prefer, by all means, serve and eat it in large bowls.  Gazpacho is light, refreshing, and healthy, so there’s no reason to be stingy with it.  Eat hearty!


From The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook by Ina Garten


  • 2 hothouse cucumbers, halved and seeded, but not peeled
  • 3 red peppers, cored and seeded
  • 8 plum tomatoes
  • 2 red onions
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 46 ounces tomato juice (6 cups)
  • ½ cup white wine vinegar
  • ½ cup good olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 ½ teaspoons freshly ground black pepper


  1. Roughly chop the cucumbers, bell peppers, tomatoes, and red onions into 1-inch cubes. Put each vegetable separately into a food processor fitted with a steel blade and pulse until it is coarsely chopped.  Do not overprocess!
  2. After each vegetable is processed, combine them in a large bowl and add the garlic, tomato juice, vinegar, olive oil, salt, and pepper.  Mix well and chill before serving. The longer gazpacho sits, the more the flavors develop.  Serves 8-10

Cook’s Notes:  I coarsely chop the garlic and process it with the onions. I substitute sherry vinegar for the white wine vinegar and add a teaspoon or so of Piment d’Espelette.  I taste for seasoning before adding the full quantity of salt, as I find that Ina’s recipes are sometimes a bit salty for my taste.

You can find Piment d’Espelette and Melfor Condiment French vinegar (as mentioned earlier in the post) at as well as from specialty food purveyors.

Freezing Tomatoes, Pesto & Chutney to Enjoy in Winter Dishes

by Cyndy Crist

Platter of fresh heirloom tomatoes (by Cyndy Crist)
Platter of fresh heirloom tomatoes (by Cyndy Crist)

Despite the super-hot summer we’ve had and the fact that we’re only in mid-August, just a few cool nights and chilly mornings have already sparked thoughts about preserving the bounty of the summer garden for the long, cold days of winter ahead.   Even though I’m certain Mother Nature has some more hot days in store for us this year out our way in Minnesota, it still makes sense to take advantage of the wealth of tomatoes, basil, and other fruits, vegetables, and herbs at Farmers’ Markets and in one’s own garden right now.

I have four favorite things to do with tomatoes and herbs that involve freezing, my preferred way to “put up” much of the garden’s bounty (and a recent project involving water bath canning reminded me why that’s the case!).  One involves a maximum of five minutes of work.  The others are also easy, if slightly more complicated.  Let’s start with the easiest and move on from there.

Freezing Whole Tomatoes:

2011 Frozen Smoked Whole Tomatoes
2011 Frozen Smoked Whole Tomatoes

For simplicity, there’s nothing quite like freezing whole tomatoes.  All I do is wash and dry the tomatoes, pop them into Ziplock bags, squeeze out as much air as possible, and throw them in the freezer.  I’ve read suggestions to peel them first, but I find that the skins pull off easily as they thaw and/or cook, and with the peel on, they are more easily separated when removed from the freezer.  I primarily freeze Roma tomatoes since I tend to use them in pasta sauces, chili, and other dishes in which their proportionally meatier nature is a plus, but this year I plan to freeze some other varieties as well.  There’s nothing quite like being able to use unprocessed whole tomatoes of superior quality in winter-time cooking.

Freezer Pesto:

Fresh Basil Plant (by Cyndy Crist)
Fresh Basil Plant (by Cyndy Crist)

Only slightly more work to make is freezer pesto.  I love pesto, and since large bunches of basil at summer and fall Farmers’ Markets are so much cheaper, fresher, and better than those purchased in the winter, this is the time to make it, especially since it freezes so well.  I follow Marcella Hazan’s directions to mix the basil, olive oil, pine nuts, garlic cloves, and salt in a food processor until smooth and creamy and add the cheese (she recommends both parmesan and Romano cheese, though I often use only parmesan) only after the lovely green sludge is thawed and ready to use.  If you sometimes use pesto in small quantities, you can freeze it in ice cube trays, popping the frozen cubes into a plastic bag to maintain the flavor during storage.  Otherwise, any size or shape of freezer-safe container will do.

Hazan’s proportions are:

  • Frozen Pesto (by Cyndy Crist)
    Frozen Pesto (by Cyndy Crist)
    • ½ cup of olive oil
    • 3 tablespoons of pine nuts
    •  2 garlic cloves
    • per 2 cups of tightly packed basil leaves
    • salt to taste
    • ½ cup freshly grated Parmesan and
    • 2 tablespoons of freshly grated Romano added before serving.

This is the time to use your very best extra virgin olive oil, and please don’t even think of using the “parmesan” from that green canister. The recipe also calls for adding 3 tablespoons of softened butter at this point.  While I suspect this would make it rich and delicious and as much as I love butter, this has never seemed necessary to me.  In fact, I don’t always add cheese. I’m not being lazy; sometimes I just want to savor the nutty, garlicky, herbal flavor of the sauce sans dairy products.  In any case, a spoonful of pesto on pasta or a crostini is like a bite of summer at any time of the year, and it’s wonderful stirred into many soups (think pistou).

Freezer Tomato Sauce:

Gathering Ingredients for Tomato Sauce (by Cyndy Crist)
Gathering Ingredients for Tomato Sauce (by Cyndy Crist)

Another great thing to freeze is tomato sauce, something that can be as simple as cooking tomatoes, onions, and garlic with olive oil, salt, and pepper (which also offers maximum flexibility for its later use) or that can be given a more complex flavor with the addition of other vegetables and/or herbs.  One of the recipes I’m going to try was published in the August 13 “Dining” section of the New York Times as part of their remembrance of Julia Child on the occasion of what would have been her 100th birthday.  It is a slight simplification of a recipe from Mastering the Art of French Cooking Volume 1, and it sounds both versatile and delicious.

The adaptation offered by Julia Moskin primarily differs from Julia Child’s recipe in that Moskin doesn’t peel and seed the tomatoes. I think I’m going to split the difference between the two versions, seeding but not peeling them. I’m also wondering about how much difference it would make to use fresh rather than dried orange peel and will likely find out, since I don’t have dried peel on hand (I could probably find it at Penzeys, but how often would I actually use it?).  Here’s the recipe as printed in the New York Times:

Coulis de Tomates a la Provencale

(Tomato Sauce with Mediterranean Flavors)

Adapted by Julia Moskin from Mastering the Art of French Cooking by Julia Child


  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2/3 cup minced yellow onions
  • Kosher salt and black pepper
  • 4 teaspoons all-purpose flour
  • 5-6 pounds ripe tomatoes, quartered
  • 1/8 teaspoon sugar, or more to taste
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced or put through a press
  • Herb bouquet: 8 sprigs parsley, 1 bay leaf and 4 sprigs thyme tied in cheesecloth
  • ¼ teaspoon fennel seeds
  • ½ teaspoon dried basil, oregano, marjoram or savory
  • Large pinch saffron threads
  • 12 coriander seeds, lightly crushed
  • 2-inch piece dried orange peel (or ½ teaspoon granules)
  • 2-3 tablespoons tomato paste (optional)

1. In a large heavy pot, heat the oil over medium-low heat.  Add onions, sprinkle with salt and cook slowly for about 10 minutes, until tender but not browned.  Sprinkle on flour and cook slowly for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally; do not brown.

2. Meanwhile, fit a food processor with the coarse grating blade. Working in batches, push tomatoes through feed tube to make a coarse puree.

3. Stir tomatoes, sugar, garlic, herb bouquet, fennel, basil, saffron, coriander, orange peel and 1 teaspoon salt into pot. Cover and cook slowly for 10 minutes, so the tomatoes will render their juice. Uncover and simmer for about an hour, until thick. The sauce is done when it tastes cooked and is thick enough to form a mass in the spoon. Remove herb bouquet and taste. Season with salt, pepper, sugar and tomato paste, and simmer two minutes more. Sauce may be used immediately, refrigerated or frozen for up to 6 months. Yields about 1 quart.

Putting up Tomato Chutney:

Finally, I’m a great lover of chutneys, and one of my favorites to make is Hot Tomato Chutney, a recipe from The Herbal Pantry by Emilie Tolley and Chris Mead.  They suggest this chutney as a good accompaniment to cold meats and chicken.  I love to spread it on sandwiches (turkey and chicken are favorites but it’s also great with ham) and to spoon it on scrambled eggs or over cream cheese and served with crackers as an hors d’oeuvres.  It’s also wonderful as part of a cheese course, working equally well, I think, with creamy goat cheeses and aged cheddars.

Hot Tomato Chutney (by Cyndy Crist)
Hot Tomato Chutney (by Cyndy Crist)

I love making chutneys, which fill the house with their spicy, fruity, sweet/sour scent.  I generally follow this recipe exactly as written, although I sometimes use only one jalapeno or substitute a slightly milder pepper.  You’ll note that this one can be processed in a hot-water bath if that’s your preference.  But I’ll stick with freezing – call me lazy, but I find that so much less fuss and the end results are great.

Hot Tomato Chutney
From The Herbal Pantry by Emilie Tolley and Chris Mead

3 pounds ripe tomatoes, seeded and coarsely chopped
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup cider vinegar
1 large red pepper, chopped
1 large onion, coarsely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 tablespoons peeled and minced fresh ginger
½ cup raisins
2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and chopped
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
2 teaspoons salt
¼ cup chopped cilantro

Place all the ingredients except the cilantro in a large non-aluminum saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring, until the sugar is dissolved.  Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the mixture thickens, about 30 minutes. Stir in the cilantro for the last few minutes of cooking. Pack in sterilized jars and seal. Freeze or process in a hot-water bath for 15 minutes.

Addendum from Dorothy on more ways to preserve tomatoes for winter:

How-to Dry your Heirloom Tomatoes
How-to Dry your Heirloom Tomatoes

Drying (or Dehydrating) Tomatoes:

For another great way to preserve those heirloom tomatoes for winter, you can visit this link.  It is an earlier post on drying tomatoes, in particular the Principe Borghese heirloom tomato.



Purchased Chutneys:

One of HeathGlen's Chutneys
One of HeathGlen’s Chutneys

Of course, if you want to turn the preserving over to someone else, you can always purchase a chutney from HeathGlen’s website .  The Cranberry-Port Wine-Sage Chutney that will be available from HeathGlen in mid-October will be in the feature article of SAVEUR’s November 2012 issue, and a blueberry chutney or stone fruit chutney usually makes appearance in the store in October.