Banana Chutney Brilliance

Sometimes, there's no other way to describe a food accept to use the word "Brilliant!" That's what this chutney is...pure brilliance in a jar. It completely hits your tongue running and sends it's warm curry and piquant vinegar flavors all through your mouth and up into the nose.

I know, bananas in a chutney seems an oddity but they so work and their smooth texture really adds to the overall consistency.

If you've never canned anything before, not to worry. There are about a bazillion books out there on how to do it not to mention many websites for the same. I do recommend some kind of canner though; mine uses steam and after I wash everything in hot soapy water, I sterilize my jars in a 250 degree oven (start cold) for 30 minutes and my lids on the stove. There are, of course, alternative ways to sterilize.

Brilliant Banana Chutney
(adapted from The Herbal Pantry, by Emelie Tolley & Christ Mead)

2 cups onion, chopped
1 pound pitted dates, chopped
7 ripe bananas
3 cups unrefined sugar
2 cups apple cider vinegar
1 cup golden raisins
3/4 cup crystallized ginger
1.5 tsp curry powder
1 tsp salt
2 whole vanilla beans

Combine all the ingredients in a heavy non-aluminum saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat then simmer until thick, stirring occasionally, about 30 minutes. Spoon into half-pint jars (I used 12 ounce jars), seal and store in the refrigerator (I processed these in my steam canner for 15 minutes).

A jar of this accompanied by a sweet little spoon would make the perfect holiday gift for anyone who appreciates good food and interesting accompaniments to go with it. I think it would also be an elegant addition to a cheese tray (think white cheddar, brie, and herbed goat) or a generous dollop served alongside a pork tenderloin.

Say "Yum!"

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