“What is it that inspires your cooking?”
I remember being asked that question one sunny day while I was still working as the cook at Nourish Café & Bistro; in the moment, I didn’t have an answer. But then Hayley Rosenberg said, “Hello-o, your condiments silly!”
I realized immediately that she was right: I choose to pack a bratwurst sandwich for lunch because it means eating yellow zucchini pickle relish; the jam I pile on my toast in the mornings gives me confidence for the day; and just this week I stared uninspired at my pork chops until I had the stroke of brilliance to make onion and apricot chutney to go on top.
And then oh baby, was I ever excited for Saturday night so I could eat those chops!
Inspired by a bag of onions for only 1€ and a gigantic jar of apricot jam in the fridge, I took the principles of making a good condiment (sweet + sour + full of flavour) and created something of my own.
This chutney is not to be canned, but can be kept in th
e fridge for two or more weeks after cooking. It has the advantage of being ready the same day you prepare it, unlike most chutneys that need a month or more to age before being ready to eat.
Onion and Apricot Chutney serves 4-6 generous portions
4 large onions, sliced thinly
1 apple, diced
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp brown or (preferably) raw cane sugar
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp dried thyme
1/3 cup good quality apricot jam (I used Bonne Maman)
Start by slicing your onions, and then placing them in a cold pan with your 2 tbsp olive oil. Place over a low – medium heat. You want your onions to start “sweating” or releasing some of their liquid. Sprinkle the sugar and salt over your onions to help this process get started. Once the onions have started to co
ok add your diced apple (no need to peel unless you want to), and add the apple cider vinegar at the same time.
Cook the onions and apples together, stirring occasionally, until they are caramelized and soft. Add the tablespoon of thyme and the apricot jam. Continue cooking for another 5 – 10 minutes until everything is well blended and the onions have begun to absorb the jam. Adjust seasoning to taste.
For other ideas on how to use Onion and Apricot Chutney see “Keeping it Fresh.”