One of the wonderful things about living in Italy is that the foraging opportunities are very different from those I’m used to in the UK. Over the last few months I’ve been keeping my eye on a large fig tree at the top of a field near our house. This week there were enough ripe fruits to make a couple of jars of foraged fig chutney, perfect served with cheese. I added a couple of apples picked from a tree on the way down the hill for additional texture and taste.
1kg fresh figs
A cup of brown sugar
A cup of apple or white wine vinegar
A large apple or 3 small ones
1tbsp of ground ginger
1tsp mixed spice
Half a nutmeg (grated)
Chop the onion and apple and fry off gently in a pan with a little olive or vegetable oil. I didn’t cut mine too finely as it’s nice to have some texture but you don’t want big chunks. Add the spices and cook through for a minute or two. Cut your figs into quarters. I left the skins on as they add flavour and texture.
Add the figs to the pan with the sugar and vinegar. Bring to a boil then turn down the heat and simmer for 30 minutes or until the chutney reduces down and turns into a sticky goo.
Whilst the chutney is cooking down you can prepare the jars. Sterilising them properly means that the chutney will last a year…assuming you don’t eat it first!
I discovered that whilst there is a lot written about the complexities of sterilisation it’s actually a very simple process. Just wash the jars in hot soapy water and place them upright on a tray in a hot oven for 10 minutes. Boil the lids in a pan of water for the same amount of time.
Spoon the chutney into the jars and tighten the lids whilst the mixture is still hot.
This recipe made two full jars of chutney which I’ve placed in my cantina to eat over the winter and half a jar to eat now. Store in a fridge once opened.