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Peach Chutney with Chinese Five Spice

PeachesRecipe by Roberta L. Duyff, MS, RDN, FAND, CFCS

Chutney's linguistic origins — from the Sanskrit word "catni," meaning "to lick" — shows off this spicy condiment's flavorful background. Made of fruit and vegetables, vinegar, sugar, and spices, chutneys are traditionally served with curried dishes. Fruit chutney also makes a great complement for grilled pork chops, broiled chicken breasts and baked ham; a flavorful spread on sandwiches; a sweet-tangy condiment with cheese; and even a unique ingredient on flatbread!

Each region of Central Asia has its own distinctive chutney recipe. This version is flavored with Chinese five spice, typically made of star anise, cinnamon, cloves, Sichuan peppercorns and fennel seeds. This spice blend imparts a perception of sweetness without sugar.

Ingredients

2 teaspoons canola oil
1 large shallot, minced (2 to 3 tablespoons)
2 teaspoons grated peeled ginger root
1 clove garlic, minced
2 large fresh ripe peaches, chopped in 1-inch pieces *
1/2 cup dried tart red cherries or currants
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon Chinese five spice powder **
1/3 cup slivered almonds

Directions

  1. Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the shallot, ginger root and garlic. Cook and stir for about 3 minutes, or until the shallot is softened, but not browned.
  2. Reduce heat to low. Stir in the peaches and the cherries or currants. Cook and stir until the peaches soften, but still keep their shape, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat.
  3. Add the vinegar, brown sugar and Chinese five spice powder to the onion mixture; blend well. Mix in the almonds.
  4. Makes about 2 cups. Serve warm or chilled as a condiment, sauce or spread. The chutney can be frozen for later use.

Cooking Notes

  • Put unripe peaches in a paper bag. Ethylene gas from the peaches hastens ripening. Putting a banana in the bag softens the peaches faster.
  • Chinese five spice powder is available in many supermarkets. If unavailable, make your own! For a yield of 4 teaspoons Chinese five spice powder, blend 1 1/4 teaspoons ground fennel seeds, 1 teaspoon ground star anise, 1 teaspoon ground Sichuan peppercorns, 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon and 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves.

Nutrition Information

Serves 8 (Serving size: 1/4 cup)

Calories: 100; Calories from fat: 40; Total fat: 4g; Saturated fat: 0; Trans fat: 0g; Cholesterol: 0mg; Sodium: 0mg; Total carbohydrate: 15g; Dietary fiber: 2g; Sugars: 11g; Protein: 2g