Date and Tomato Chutney

Takes a couple of hours

This we-made-it-up-as-we-went-along chutney is absolutely delicious, with a bright, juicy, fruity flavour, given extra depth, richness and sophistication by the use of dates rather than the more traditional sultanas (Edwina’s inspired idea). The de Arbol chilli adds a hint of smoky flavour without making it too hot. It's lovely on the side of a plate of salad, or liberally applied to the cheese sarnies Nik brings in to work for his breakfast

150g light brown sugar
250ml cider vinegar
2 shallots, peeled and very finely chopped
1 tbsp chopped chives
3cm piece fresh root ginger peeled and finely grated
1 de Arbol chilli, very finely chopped
250g dates, stoned and finely chopped
1kg cherry tomatoes, halved
Salt and pepper

  • Heat the sugar in a heavy bottomed saucepan until the sugar starts to melt and caramelise
  • Add the rest of the ingredients and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer very gently for around two hours, or until the chutney has thickened to the consistency of marmalade or jam. Taste and season accordingly
  • Spoon the chutney into sterilised jars and refrigerate