Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Quick Pear Chutney

Martha Stewart's quick pear chutney is one of my favorite recipes for using some of the not quite ripe pears off our tree. It's easy to make and can be served right away or canned for later. And, it's a great addition to vegetarian dishes, pork, white fish or to a ploughman's lunch or platter along with bread, cheese and salami.

Now I altered her recipe slightly by adding more pears and a mix of black currents and golden raisins. You could also use apples or a combination of pears and apples or add in cranberries in place of the golden raisins.

Quick Pear Chutney (serves 4)

1/4 cup walnuts
1 teaspoon olive or grape seed oil
1 shallot, minced
3 ripe but firm pears, cored and cut into 1/4-inch dice
6 tablespoons cider vinegar
3 tablespoons honey
4 whole cloves
2 tablespoons golden raisins
tablespoons black currents

In a fry pan over medium heat, gently toast the walnuts until fragrant and browned, 7 to 9 minutes. Remove from heat; let cool, and roughly chop. Set aside.

Heat oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add shallot, and saute until softened and golden, about 4 minutes. Add pears, vinegar, honey, and cloves. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and cook until pears are tender, about 5 minutes. Discard cloves, and stir in raisins and reserved walnuts. Remove from heat. Serve warm or at room temperature.

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