Archive | Preserves

Green tomato chutney

Green tomato chutney recipeI wanted to make green tomato chutney since I heard about it from my mum-in-law. What a great idea! I often failed to get my tomatoes ripe enough before autumn and they used to rot instead of being eaten. I so wish I knew I could use them!

Now my mum-in-law was staying over this week as Joni went away to Dublin. It was a great opportunity to make some green tomato chutney (especially when we had some green tomatoes in hand!). Joni's mum pretty much made the chutney while i took few pics in between. She followed this recipe that she swears by (apparently the chutney using this recipe always turns out perfect). I forgot the title of that book, but will let you know once I get it.Green tomato chutney recipeGREEN TOMATO CHUTNEY

  • 1.8kg green tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 700g onions, pealed and chopped
  • 450g cooking apples such as bramley, peeled, cored and chopped
  • 600ml vinegar (we used malt vinegar)
  • 8 red chillies (we used green chillies)
  • 25g root ginger
  • 225g raisins
  • 2tsp salt
  • 450g sugar (we used soft brown sugar)

Green tomato chutney recipe Green tomato chutney recipe1. Put the chopped tomatoes, onions and the apples in a large pan with half the vinegar. Bring to boil, then simmer for about 30min.

2. Add the chillies and root ginger into the pan, make sure you count them as you will need to fish them out later.

3. Add the raisins and cook, stirring from time to time until the mixture thickens, after about 1 hour.

4. Add the salt, sugar and the rest of the vinegar, stirring well till sugar dissolves. Continue cooking until the chutney thickens again.

5. Remove the chillies and ginger from the pot before potting and sealing (see how by clicking here). Leave to mature for 6 weeks. Green tomato chutney recipeHappy weekend everyone!

Rasa xoxo



My piccalilli recipeHey! It's Autumn here and what is Autumn without canning? I do like to make preserves and when Joni suggested to make piccalilli I got excited as I thought it would be really cool to make it.  Piccalilli is a great condiment that is tasty in sandwiches and pairs well with cheddar cheese. Yum!My piccalilli recipePICCALILLI

Makes about 2-2.5kg

  • 1 small cauliflower, chopped
  • 1/2 head broccoli, chopped
  • 2 courgettes, chopped
  • 5 green chillies, finely chopped
  • 200g green beans, chopped into smaller bits
  • 200g cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
  • 2 medium onions, pealed and roughly chopped
  • 50g salt
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp mustard powder
  • 2 tbsp mustard seeds
  • 2 tbsp ground cumin
  • 2 tbsp turmeric
  • 1/2 whole nutmeg, grated
  • 4 tbsp flour
  • 600ml cider vinegar
  • 2 cox apples, grated
  • 1 mango, pealed and chopped
  • 6 tbsp runny honey
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed and finely chopped

1. Place all the vegetables in a large bowl, sprinkle with the salt and cover it with water. Leave it in a cool place for 2 hours, then drain thoroughly.My piccalilli recipe2. Heat a large saucepan. Add the oil to the pan, then fry the mustard seeds, mustard powder, cumin, turmeric and nutmeg for few seconds. Lower the heat, add the flour and a splash of vinegar and stir to make a thick paste.

3. Gradually add the remaining vinegar while whisking all the time to make a smooth paste with no clumps.

4. Add the apples, mangoes, garlic and honey and cook for 2–3 minutes. 

5. Drain the salted vegetables and add them to the pan, stirring well to coat with the spice paste. Cook for 15 minutes until the vegetables have just softened and released juice.

6. Spoon Piccalilli into sterilised jars and close the lids tightly.My piccalilli recipe My piccalilli recipeHappy autumn canning ;-)



Anatomy of pesto

How to make a pesto, any pesto!Pesto is a great addition to many meals, not only pasta. You could use it to spread on toast or season a very bland chicken roast. And it does not have to be made only from basil! You could use other herbs! Essentially if you follow a basic anatomy of pesto you could create many flavour pesto.

I wanted to draw the anatomy of pesto, but realised I am not as good in drawing like Vicki. So instead I will try to write it out. So here it goes!


HERBS can be parsley, dill, coriander leaves, mint and so on

GREENS include spinach, kale, beet greens or even broccoli!

NUTS not only pine nuts, but also almonds, walnuts, pecans, hazelnuts, cashew nuts and list goes on....

When it comes to SEEDS I only tried sunflower seeds, but I am sure there are many more to try out!

GARLIC can only be garlic unfortunately

For OIL I generally use olive oil, but I am sure other oils could work as well!

The best CHEESE for pesto is hard cheeses such as parmesan or pecorino romano. However I use cheddar cheese when I run out of the other cheeses and it still works out ok.

EXTRAS can be red pepper, sun dried tomato, lemon juice.... Why don't you just go and experiment ;-)

To make pesto all you need to do is whiz all the ingredients in small food processor until it forms pesto consistency. Thats all!How to make a pesto, any pesto!Here are few flavours of pesto that I tried the other day!


I tried this one with pasta. Got the recipe from BBC Good Food actually. Worked a dream!

  • 290g jar roasted red peppers, drained
  • large handful parsley
  • 75g cashews
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 50g parmasan

How to make a pesto, any pesto!BROCCOLI PESTO

I used this recipe for quite a while, but don't quite remember where I got it from

  • 1 head broccoli, chopped and boiled
  • 80g pine nuts
  • 1 garlic cloves
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 60g cheddar cheese
  • juice from 1/2 lemon

How to make a pesto, any pesto!DILL PESTO

  • 2 bunches of dill
  • 1 bunch of parsley
  • 30g sunflower seeds
  • 1 cloves of garlic
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 30g parmesan cheese

How to make a pesto, any pesto! How to make a pesto, any pesto!Enjoy pesto making ;-)



Joni’s green (not red) chilli jam

Green chilli jam recipe Joni is a big fan of chilli jam (now i've tried it and have become a fan as well!). He had a batch of red chilli jam that he finished a long time ago and he was enthusiastic (more like constantly reminding me) that we get some chillies so he could make a new batch (the previous batch was lovingly made by his mum) . I eventually got green chillies for our house warming party as I was making some Enchiladas. Luckily there were plenty leftover due to generous deals at Bedford market!

So we both agreed that green chillies are perfectly fine to make not so red chilli jam. We did hope however it would be bright green in colour the way red chilli jam is brightly red. However it turned out amber, I guess this is because we used darker cider vinegar.  We tried it with some enchiladas and loved the taste. This is how I got converted to be a chilli jam fan!Green chilli jam recipeJONI'S GREEN CHILLI JAM based on Nigella's red chilli jam recipe

Joni made this last weekend. It took him a few hours to deseed and chop all those chillies. If you want to try this I really recommend you use gloves.  Even though these were not the hottest variety of chilli's, it took about 12 hours for the burning effect to wear off. So make sure you wear some gloves to protect yourself from misery while making this very chilli jam (read Joni's warnings and notes at the end of this recipe).

  • 150g green chilli peppers (deseeded and roughly chopped)
  • 150g yellow peppers (cored, deseeded and roughly chopped)
  • 1kg jam sugar (jam sugar has pectin which is needed to set the jam)
  • 600ml cider vinegar

1. Put the chillies and peppers into food processor and pulse until they are finely chopped.Green chilli jam recipe2. Dissolve the sugar in the vinegar in the sauce pan over a low heat without stirring.

3. Scrape the chilli-pepper mixture out of the bowl and add to the pan. Boil everything for 10 minutes.

4. Take the pan off the heat and allow it cool. The liquid will become more syrupy, then from syrup to viscous and from viscous to jelly-like as it cools.

5. To sterilise the jars heat them in preheated 100C oven for about 15 min. Pour the chilli jam into the jars and seal them tightly.

Joni's notes:

De-seeding the peppers is rather straightforward.  Insert your knife on the top next to the stalk and cut around to remove.  Pull it out and then halve the pepper. Discard the stalk and the seeds from inside.  Trim back the seed structure to the inner wall of the pepper and then roughly chop the pepper flesh into segments ready to go into the food processor.

De-seeding the chilli's is simple in practice but warrants caution.  Even relatively low Scoville scale chilli's have capsaicin oil in them.  The more chilli's you chop the more oil will be deposited on your hands and chopping board and this can be very nasty to deal with.  If you are not wearing gloves you will suffer some excruciating time until you can get the oil off.  Olive oil is supposed to help dissolve some of the oil so it can be washed off with soap.  I didn't find this very effective.   I de-seeded the chilli's by chopping off the stalk and then halving the chilli lengthwise.  This allowed me to scrape the seeds and seed structure from the inside of the chilli.  I then roughly chopped the remaining flesh ready for the food processor.

I'm sure you could play around with the relative proportions of peppers and chilli's as well as choosing different types to alter the flavours.  It strikes me as very simple to do and could give you jam of strikingly different colours, texture's, flavour, & all important chilli heat.

I dissolved the sugar in the cider vinegar as Nigella's recipe required.  I have an electric hob so once it reaches a heat it can often overheat.  Heating up the sugar and adding the blended chilli and pepper mixture was easy but i think i overheated the sugar and some of it caramelised which i think led to the amber colouring rather than the jam taking it's coloration from the chilli.  If you have a gas ring and better temperature control you may get a better result.  Do let us know how you get on.Green chilli jam recipeEnjoy!

Rasa + Joni


Marmalade tart with rosemary crust

Marmalade tart with rosemary crustLast week Joni asked me to bake a cake for his work so he could celebrate our wedding with his colleagues.  As soon as he asked I thought 'great'! I can use up at least one jar of marmalade that we got in the house (for some reason people think that Joni LOOOOOAAAVES marmalade so we ended up with 5 whole jars!). Don't get me wrong, I don't really like marmalade and Joni just likes it. If he loved marmalade that much I suppose we would have one jar of it or two at the max in the house. Luckily one jar of marmalade went straight to the bin (I think it was off as the texture was all sugary/candy like) and another has been used up to bake this tart. So if you are ok with your maths, we now have only three jars of marmalade.... wooohoo!!!!

Ok, I am very sorry to be so negative about the marmalade. After all it makes great tarts! And if you unlike me and like marmalade, then this tart is for you. It's tastefully combined with rosemary flavour, therefore making it an amazing afternoon treat! How do I know that? Well... although I did not taste it (even if I wanted to have a one slice to see how my experiment turned out), apparently Joni's colleagues really liked it and wanted more... All I can say 'Success!!!'

Marmalade tart with rosemary crustMARMALADE TART WITH ROSEMARY CRUST

  • 200g unsalted butter
  • 6-8 tbsp sugar
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 15-20 tbsp flour
  • 1 rosemary spring, leaves finely chopped (plus 3-4 springs for decoration)
  • 1 jar of marmalade
  • icing sugar for dusting

Marmalade tart with rosemary crust1. Make the pastry dough by creaming butter with sugar. Gradually add egg yolks, flour and finely chopped rosemary. Wrap the dough into cling film and let it rest in the fridge for 15 min or so (it will be easer to handle it later). Marmalade tart with rosemary crust2. Roll out the dough and line prepared baking tin with it (lined with baking paper prior that).Marmalade tart with rosemary crust3. Fill the tart with the marmaladeMarmalade tart with rosemary crust

4. Cover the tart with the remaining dough. Just make little balls out the dough and place them evenly over the marmalade.
Cover the tart with the remaining dough
5. Bake in preheated 170C oven for 30-45min constantly checking if not over-baked, but lightly golden.
Marmalade tart with rosemary crust
Rasa xoxo
P.S. Thanks to Ann-Mary for this beautiful cake stand ;-)

Pickled radish spread

Pickled radish spreadIt is not exactly pickling or preserving season, but I totally had to do that with my homegrown radishes. This spread is perfect for a quick toast, a cracker or cheddar cheese. I even tried it as a salad dressing, that was really yum!pickled radish spreadPICKLED RADISH SPREAD

  • 2 handfuls of radish
  • 1 cucumber
  • 6 garlic cloves
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 4 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • salt to taste
  • chives (or other of your favourite herbs)

pickled radish spread1. Grate the radishes, cucumber and garlic. pickled radish spread2. In separate bowl or glass mix sugar with vinegar and oil. Pour it over the radishes.

3. Add salt to taste and sprinkle some chives on top (I added chive flowers to complete the prettiness!). pickled radish spread4. Jar it or eat it straight out, decision is yours ;-)

Rasa xoxo


Autumn canning


Recently I shared some preserving and pickling recipes. I hope you enjoyed trying them out! Here is the list of the veg, fruit and berries that I canned this year:

The biggest lesson I have learned is to always sterilise the jars and never wait until the preserves are cooled before canning. So always wash your jars with the soapy water and heat them for 10min in preheated 180C oven just before using them.


Here you can access free printable labels.

Happy autumn canning!

Rasa :)


My grandma’s pickled beets


I grew way too many beetroots this year! Although I am quite happy with this as I love beetroots very much, especially their colour ;) So I asked my grandma for a pickled beets recipe as I knew I would not be able to use all of them before winter. I like this recipe as it doesn't need any vinegar that sometimes gives a harsh taste (in Lithuania we don't use much vinegar for cooking). It is simply preserved by using apple juice. Although I must say that the apple juice we use in Lithuania is quite sour. So make sure you get sugarless, not from concentrate apple juice. Sainsbury's organic apple juice is a good one (not promoting, just recommending ;).



  • 10 medium sized beetroots
  • 500ml sugar free apple juice
  • salt to taste

1. Cook the beetroots, whole with the skins on for about 30-40min(If you using a ready cooked ones from the shop then skip this step).

2. Once the beetroots are cooked then rub the skin off and chop them into desired sizes.

3. Place chopped beets into the clean pot and pour apple juice just to cover it. Add salt to taste.

4. Prepare the jars for preserving. Wash them with the soapy water and heat them for 10min in preheated 180C oven.

5. Heat the beetroots with apple juice until it reaches the boiling point.

6. Spoon the beets into the jars while still hot and pour the liquid on top.

7 Seal the jars with the lids and let it cool.


Rasa ;)



Jamming with the Elderberry!

I am loving the Autumn! Mainly because the gardens (and the parks) are full of berries, fruit and veg! My dad keeps sending me these pics of the produce he is collecting from his big garden (he is the proud owner of many apple trees)....


While in return I send him this (even more proud owner of the rhubarb)... To be fear,  my garden is a much smaller garden than my dads!


The other day I went out for a run with my neighbour Anna. While we were running we were picking some elderberries that were just waiting for us by the river (how cool is that!). On the way home me and Anna we were already plotting what we were going to do with our find (how exciting!). Anna could not wait, so she made her jam on the same afternoon. That was some tasty sugarless elderberry jam with some honey and drizzle of lemon!


Meanwhile (two days later) I have made some big jamming experiment by combining apples and my lovely rhubarb which I though was even more amazing! Had to make the basic elderberry jam first as these small little berries need sieving (all those tiny seeds etc). But you must try this out while it is still not too late!



  • 500g elderberries
  • 500g jam sugar

1. Wash the elderberries under cold running water and gently pull off the berries from the stems (you can freeze the berries prior to make this job easer).

2. Cook the berries in the dry saucepan until the juice until the juice start running. Use the wooden spoon to bruise the berries slightly.

3. Add one third of sugar into the saucepan and continue cooking everything until the berries becomes thoroughly soft and pulpy.

4. Sieve the mixture trough the fine mesh (no seeds must go through).

5. Put the pulp, juice and remaining sugar back into the cleaned saucepan. Let this simmer for half an hour, stirring and skimming frequently.

6. Remove the pan from the heat and skim off any impurities from the surface using a slotted spoon. Leave to cool for 5 minutes. Pour the Elderberry Jam into heated sterilised jars and seal. Leave the jars to cool completely, then label and store in a cool, dark place.


  • 350g rhubarb (trimmed and cut into 1cm pieces)
  • 300ml water
  • 1tbsp rose water (my secret ingredient ;)
  • 150g elderberry jam
  • 350g jam sugar

1. Put rhubarb, water and rose water into the saucepan and bring it to boil.

2. Cook the rhubarb for 10min and then add elderberry jam and sugar.

3. Boil the jam for another 15 min.

4. Remove the pan from the heat and leave to cool for 5 minutes. Pour the jam into heated sterilised jars and seal. Leave the jars to cool completely, then label and store in a cool, dark place.


  • 350g apples (peeled, cored and chopped)
  • 80ml water
  • 1tbsp cinnamon
  • 150g elderberry jam
  • 350g brown sugar

1. Put apples and water into the saucepan and bring it to boil.

2. Cook the apples for 10min and then add elderberry jam, sugar and cinnamon.

3. Boil the jam for another 15 min.

4. Remove the pan from the heat and leave to cool for 5 minutes. Pour the jam into heated sterilised jars and seal. Leave the jars to cool completely, then label and store in a cool, dark place.

Happy jamming!

Rasa :)



Spiced Plum Chutney


As it is getting autumny I decided to make a plum chutney today. I bought the plums from the store this time since this is must have in my kitchen and unfortunately I don't own a plum tree. I love it with cheese (any type!!), but it would also taste really good with the ham or savoury biscuits.... the list goes on!


The recipe have been "stolen" from the BBC Good Food website (as always!!!)

Don't forget to enjoy autumn ;)

Rasa xox


Sugarless Apple Sauce

Apple Souce

Vicki had an access to an apple tree this year. Yay! And what could be better if not to use these genuinely organic apples for making preserves? I thought I will make an apple sauce since I heard that you can use it to substitute sugar!  However I was quite disappointed for a moment as I found out from many apple sauce recipes that in fact you need to add sugar and butter (wow!) in order to make it :-(.... bummer! It doesn't make sense to me why would you use the apple sauce as a sugar substitute when it contains sugar anyways. Luckily after doing a further research I have released that I can still make a sugarless apple sauce, however I would need to take extra care in preserving it. So this is how I made it.



  • Apples (sweet types like Gala, Golden Delicious, Braeburn or Fuji)
  • Cinnamon sticks (optional)

1.Clean the apples by pealing them, removing cores and any blemishes.


2. Put the apples and cinnamon stick if using into the pot and cover it slightly with water. Cook it for about an hour.


3. Meanwhile preheat the oven to 180C. Wash the jars in warm soapy water, then rinse and dry them and place upside down in the oven for 10 min.

4. When the apples are cooked, drain them slightly (don't throw away the juice) and puree it with the food processor.

5. While the apple sauce is still hot pour it into the hot jars (very important, otherwise you can end up with the apple cider).

This one needs a lot of practice! I must admit I messed up the first time round, the jar lids got popped open. It must be because I let the cooked apples cool before pureeing them. Let's hope this time it won't happen again!

On the other note, my mum is visiting me tomorrow.  That means I can ask her more advice on preserving ;)

All good!

Rasa :-D