So I planted my bulbs this weekend (Tulipa Prinses Irene and Allium Purple Sensation if you are interested) and because I didn’t have any compost to hand and couldn’t be arsed to go and buy any more I decided to uproot my fading tomato plants from their grow-bag home and re-use the soil for my window boxes, with a generous helping of fertilizer to help my bulbs along. The expectation and excitement I get from bulb planting can probably be likened to the feeling a five year old experiences when waiting for Christmas Day to arrive. Can’t wait! Delicious burnt orange and purple blooms coming my way from April onward!
But enough of the gardening geek speak. Having uprooted the tomato plants I’m now faced with throwing away a lot of the green tomatoes which are still clinging hopefully to the plants. This year I bought some plants from a well-known home and garden centre store as well as some more interesting varieties from a community garden based in South London. I had mixed results but generally found the garden centre ones a) didn’t produce as much fruit and b) didn’t seem to taste as good. Not being a tomato specialist I don’t know if this is due to variety or my growing skills..
But what to do with the unripened fruit? Rather than lazily plonking in the compost I have resolved to turn them into chutney and turned to my recipe books for ideas. Nigel Slater is a particular favourite chef/cook of mine for his laid back approach to producing delicious but doable food. Below is his take on a green tomato chutney..