Apricot or Nectarine Chutney
Dried fruit is easily made into chutneys, which can be served as a condiment to a meat dish or meat sandwich. Even more usefully, especially around the holidays, top a log of goat cheese, Brie, or even a Mexican-style cheese like Queso Fresco or Cotija, for an easy appetizer for a buffet or party. Chutneys are best made ahead and stored refrigerated in order for the flavors to develop.
The recipe serves six to eight as a condiment.
1 cup dried apricots or nectarines (packed) or a combination, chopped
1/2 small onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon fresh ginger, grated (or 1 tablespoon candied/crystalized ginger, minced)
1/2 cup water, plus more as needed
1/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard (optional)
A generous sprinkle of freshly ground black pepper
A generous pinch of cayenne
Place all ingredients in an enamel or stainless steel pan. Stir and heat, and let simmer 15-20 minutes, stirring from time to time. If the mixture is too dry (it should be moist) add a little water as needed.
Taste, to check tenderness of the fruit and the seasonings. Add a little salt, sugar, and/or vinegar to reach the desired taste.
Store in covered jar in refrigerator, ideally at least overnight up to several days before serving.
This chutney compliments a variety of cheeses on the buffet or appetizer table, accompanied by low-salt crackers, like “water crackers,” or sliced baguette.