When you’re of the foraging persuasion, you find yourself constantly on the lookout for new produce to plunder. It’s surprising what you see growing right under your nose if you keep your eyes peeled. Just round the corner from us, someone has hops growing in their front garden. On the shortcut we take to our local Aldi, there are grapevines, elder and goji berries. All this, within just a few hundred metres of our house.
I was vaguely aware that goji berries can sometimes be found growing wild in the UK, but this was the first time I’d found them and was curious to see what I could use them in.
Despite the more familiar dried berries being thought of as a sweet snack food, fresh goji berries are apparently often used in savoury dishes, and I decided to put them in this relish. (Or is it a chutney? After a bit of Googling I’m still none the wiser.)
- 12 ripe, normal sized tomatoes
- 6 cloves of garlic
- 2 onions, peeled and chopped roughly into large chunks
- 6 or 7 red chillies (deseeded or not, depending on your preference)
- Fresh (not dried) goji berries, washed (I picked about 70g, but as many as you can get your hands on)
- 200ml white wine vinegar
- 200g caster sugar
Cut the tomatoes in half and place cut side up in a roasting tray (without adding oil). Cut the tips off the garlic, brush them with oil and nestle them among the tomatoes. Roast in the oven at about 180°C for half an hour to 40 minutes, until the tomatoes look nicely softened and are starting to colour a bit. Remove and leave to cool.
Once the garlic cloves are cool enough to handle, slip off their skins.
Whizz the garlic, onions, chillies and goji berries in a food processor until they form a fine mush. Scrape out into a large pan, then thoroughly whizz the tomatoes as well and add these to the pan too (you might need to do this in batches).
Add the vinegar and sugar to the pan and bring to the boil. Turn down the heat and simmer, stirring constantly. You want this to get to a nice sticky chutney consistency, which could take a while so be patient. When you can scrape a spoon over the bottom of the pan and leave a clear line, you’re pretty much there.
Divide into hot sterilized jars and seal.
This made 4 small-ish jars. It can be eaten as you would any chutney or relish – I think it’d be ideal dolloped in a burger.