Tomato chutney (and thank you, Mark Bittman)

Contributed by Preston Maring, MD

Tomato chutney (and thank you, Mark Bittman)

I usually just post recipes and news about our farmers markets. But I would like to recommend reading Mark Bittman's Opinion post in the Sunday New York Times. He presents a well-thought-out future for food policy in our country that could really work.

Now back to the fact that heirloom tomatoes are beginning to make their way into the markets. Having learned to peel tomatoes easily has opened up a new world of possibilities. I can't even begin to tell you how yummy this tomato chutney is served on almost anything but Fruit Loops (which we shouldn't eat anyway — remember Michael Pollan's admonition to avoid any cereal that turns the milk colors). Once you have the peeled tomatoes (see my last post), this is easy but takes some simmering time.

The chutney can be used on fish, chicken, meat, veggies, soups, etc. The flavor is simply spectacular and, of course, depends on the quality of tomatoes used. You won't want to even bother to make this using tomatoes shipped for 2 weeks in a boxcar, picked when they were green and hard, and then ripened with ethylene oxide. Wherever you live, wait for tomato season then just do it.

Thank you to Chef Chris Borges of Taste Catering for this recipe. He shared it with those gathered for the cooking demo we did at Macy's in San Francisco last week.

Servings: 2 cups


  • 1 1/2 pounds peeled, seeded heirloom tomatoes
  • 1 orange bell pepper, seeded and diced finely
  • 1/2 red pepper, seeded and diced finely
  • 3/4 cup yellow onion, finely diced
  • 2/3 cup sherry vinegar
  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons yellow mustard seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon red chili flakes


  1. Bring the vinegars, sugar, salt, mustard seeds, pepper, and chili flakes to a boil in a heavy saucepan. 
  2. Stir in the tomatoes, bell peppers, and onions. 
  3. Simmer mixture slowly giving it a quick stir maybe every fifteen minutes until reduced to 2 cups. The chef says it takes about 1 1/2 hours. 
  4. I may have reduced it too much because I ended up with less than 2cups but, oh boy, was it ever intense and good. It's one of those "close your eyes and smile" when you taste it.

Nutrition information (per serving)

  • Serving size: 2 tablespoons
  • Calories: 49
  • Total fat: 1 g
  • Saturated fat: 0 g
  • Trans fat: 0 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg
  • Sodium: 101 mg
  • Total carbohydrate: 10 g
  • Dietary fiber: 1 g
  • Total sugars: 8 g
  • Protein: 1 g