I think if I could add chilli to almost every dish, I would. Just a hint of heat. I stop myself because a) that would be weird and b) I cannot eat anything hot without an ice cold glass of wine or beer, and as I am trying to cut down on mid-week alcohol, it would not be prudent….Then I spotted this recipe in Harry Eastwood’s ‘A Salad for All Seasons’ and as I had a lonely fat chilli slowly withering in the fridge, along with a surplus of cherry tomatoes, I decided to give it a go. I have also just had some ‘pantry’ shelves installed in my utility room, which are crying out for rows of home-made jars of deliciousness. And delicious it is. I have popped it on practically everything I have eaten since; crunchy cheddar cheese, left over roast chicken, smoked salmon, omelette, jacket potato and stirred into creme fraiche for a dip for chips. A bottle of New Zealand Sauvignon has also disappeared. Oopsie.
I adapted Harry’s recipe a bit as I knew my chilli was fiery, (she recommends 5) but go with what is available and how hot you like it.
It’s so easy to make – and looks stunning on the table.
INGREDIENTS – makes 1 x 350ml jar
300ml wine wine vinegar
300g caster sugar
One large or two small red chillis
6-7 cherry tomatoes
– Warm the vinegar and add the sugar until melted
– scoop out the cherry tomatoes (you could easily use normal tomatoes actually)
– chop the chilli (I don’t have a photo of this, but I think you know how it looks!)
– add to the pan and simmer for 15 mins (look, I’ve made up for it with two more pics of the pan!)
– pour into a sterilised jar (put it in the oven on 180 for 15 mins, then cool)
– cool, add a wax seal if you’re thinking of keeping (sure about that?) along with a smug, hand-written label!
Obviously if you have a surfeit of chillies (as we inexplicably did one year in our tiny veg patch) make a large batch and give some away to friends. This will mean you can then greedily but shamelessly help yourself whenever you eat at their place…