Caramelised Red Onion and Apple Relish


The other day a customer came into the café accompanied by a rather large marrow. When I enquired as to what prompted his coming into the café with said vegetable, he replied that one of the nearby residents was giving them away for free, in desperate attempt to get rid of her bountiful harvest.


When I think of a marrow glut, the word that comes to mind is ‘chutney’. Marrow chutney seems like the last resort, when you’ve exhausted all the stuffing and pretending they’re courgettes that you can. The only option remaining is years upon years of marrow chutney with every meal.


With the troublesome connotations of chutney, I decided to call this  ‘relish’. The word alludes to a spontaneous creation, and is more satisfying to say. Relish can be eaten straight away, rather than leaving to mature for months, which suits impatient people like myself. This recipe uses balsamic vinegar, which is one of my favourite things, as it goes well with the red onions. This relish works well with goats’ cheese, in a burger, with cheese on toast, or just eaten right out of the jar (and I’m speaking from experience).

Makes 3x 250g jars

600g apples (approx. 3)

500g red onions (approx. 3)

100ml balsamic vinegar

50ml white wine vinegar

3 tbsp brown sugar

2 tsp wholegrain mustard

1 tsp cumin

250ml apple juice

salt and pepper

Peel, halve and slice the onions. Heat a glug of olive oil in a stainless steel saucepan, and fry the onions over a medium heat until just starting to soften. Add the sugar, and cook until the sugar has dissolved and the onions are starting to caramelise. Stir in the cumin and mustard. Add the apple juice and both vinegars. Simmer uncovered for 20 minutes, until the liquid has reduced slightly and is starting to become syrupy. Peel and core the apples and chop into small chunks. Add to the onions and simmer with a lid on the pan for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, sterilize the jars. Put them in a large, clean bowl and pour boiling water over them. Spoon the hot relish into the warm jars, cover with a circle of baking parchment, and seal shut. Best to keep refridgerated.

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