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Recipe: Nectarine Elderflower Chutney

This recipe comes to us from 2019 Hazon Food Conference Presenter Miche Bacher.

My tag line, “eat pretty”, is not just about how beautiful flowers are and how pretty your plates are when you include flowers in your food, it is a metaphor for the way edible flowers can help us take care of the earth. The flowers we choose to eat are grown organically and are just as enticing to our pollinator friends as they are to us.

Fresh flower season is short, so make sure to take full advantage by “putting up” your bounty. Make your vinegars, oils, sugars, chutneys, and alcoholic infusions, and don’t forget to share with friends and family!

I love chutney! Really, really, love chutney. It is so underutilized and has incredible potential. I make chutneys all summer long using fresh summer fruits and flowers and through fall and winter with frozen blackberries and dried hibiscus. What do flowers add? Well – they add that “what’s in this?” factor, some health benefits, and a pinch of extra yummm…Don’t have the specific fruit in this recipe? Or the right flower sugar? It’s ok – mix and match, find what you like, the technique is the same, so go for it!

Ingredients

  • 4 lbs firm, ripe nectarines
  • ½ cup elderflower sugar
  • 2 tbsp minced fresh peeled ginger
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp cumin seed
  • 1 tbsp mustard seed
  • 1 small sweet onion, chopped (or 1 red onion, chopped)
  • ½ tsp red chili flakes or 1 jalapeno, chopped
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar

Preparation

Bring a large pot of water to a boil and fill a large bowl with ice water. Using a paring knife, score the bottom of each nectarine with a small X. Add the nectarines to the boiling water for 30 seconds, then transfer them to the ice water with a slotted spoon. Peel the nectarines, then halve them and remove the pits. Cut them into 3/4-inch dice.

Cooking

In a large saute pan, combine everything except the vinegar. Simmer over moderately low heat until the onion and nectarines are slightly softened, about 8 minutes. Add the vinegar and simmer over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until the fruit is very soft and translucent, about 1 hour.

Preserving

Ladle the chutney into five 1/2-pint canning jars, tapping lightly on a flat surface to release any air bubbles. Seal the jars and refrigerate for up to 6 months.