Cookbook 31: Jams & Chutneys: Preserving The Harvest

I didn’t have time this weekend to cook, and had initially planned to visit my parents which was rescheduled.  But I then filled my weekend with White Night and other fun activities. That said, I had over a kilo of tomatoes to turn into something useful other than just dinner, so I pulled out Jams & Chutneys: Preserving The Harvest by Thane Prince.  It’s a detailed book with great ideas and recipes for preserving whatever it is you have in bulk.  It starts with introductory material for those who don’t know much about preserving and goes through a wide range of produce and how it can be preserved.  I give this book 4.5 stars out of 5.

No photos, because several jars of relish weren’t all that photogenic.  I will include all the notes by the author after the recipe itself.

Cherry tomato and onion relish

  • 1 kg onions, chopped
  • 1 fresh green chilli, deseeded if liked, and chopped
  • 4 plump garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 tablespoon celery seeed
  • 400ml cider vinegar
  • 1 kg cherry tomatoes, quartered if large
  • 250g white granulated sugar
  • good handful of chopped fresh basil


  1. Put the onions, chilli, and garlic in a preserving pan.  Add the celery seeds and vinegar and bring the mixture to the boil.  Simmer for 15 – 20 minutes until the vegetables are cooked and most of the liquid has evaporated.
  2. Add the tomatoes.  Stir in the sugar and return to the boil. Simmer the relish over a moderate heat for 30 minutes or until the tomatoes soften and the relish thickens.
  3. Remove from the heat and stir in the chopped basil.
  4. Pot the relish into hot sterilized jars, cover with vinegar-proof seals, and label.

Takes 1 hour; Makes 1.8kg; Keeps for 6 – 9 months

Notes on this recipe:

  • From the book: Look for tiny cherry-sized tomatoes for this relish and make sure they are just underripe.  As ever the amount of chilli used is up to you.  I have used only a small quantity as this relish is a favourite with children. For a hotter, more fiery mix, increase the number of chillies and leave the seeds in, if wished.  Serve with hamburgers, sausages and kebabs.
  • From the book: Although I have used white sugar because it gives a better flavour to this relish, raw sugar such as Demerara or muscovado can be used instead. You can also vary the spicing, using fennel seeds instead of celery seed, and chopped fresh mint in place of basil.
  • I didn’t have any cider vinegar on me, so I used malt vinegar instead.  I also swapped out the celery seeds for fennel seeds because I couldn’t find celery seeds in my local supermarket.
  • This is tasty and really will work with well any kind of red meat and pork, and probably also with eggs.  I have several small jars of it to share with family and friends.