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Cider vinegar (Recipe: tomato-nectarine chutney) {vegan, gluten-free}

In a pantry filled with olive oils from Italy, Spain, California and Trader Joe's, there's bound to be a vinegar or two. Or more. Welcome to the end of Vinegar Week, Day 3. Updated October 2010.

Tomato-nectarine chutney.

Pickles, shmickles.

I was going to rave about cider vinegar's culinary assets, how it's wonderful for making pickles and chutneys and cole slaw and salad dressing and marinades.

I was going to tell you about the cider vinegar diet, and that cider vinegar supposedly possesses magical curative powers over everything from arthritis to the common cold.

I was going to explain that cider vinegar is made from the fermented juice of apples, diluted with water to a uniform strength of 5% (50 grains) acidity, and that consistent minimum acidity is necessary for the safe canning and pickling of food.

I was going to add that that same acidity means that cider vinegar has a long shelf life (almost unlimited if unopened, and six months or more after you've opened it).

I was going to point out that pure (i.e., unflavored) cider vinegar is kosher and gluten-free.

I was going to mention that, while the color is mild and mellow, the taste is not.

I was going to confess that I've tried expensive, small-producer artisan vinegars, and see little difference between those and the one I find most easily in my local supermarket (other than price and the fact that the supermarket brands are filtered to remove any sediment).

All of that pales next to this one fact, this life-altering nugget of information that I discovered while reading up on vinegar this morning. And even if it seems that this has nothing to do with food, with cooking, or with The Perfect Pantry, it has changed my world forever.

Cider vinegar

Vinegar kills weeds.

Tomato-nectarine chutney

Tomato-nectarine chutney

A late-summer favorite with fish or grilled chicken. Makes approximately 4 cups.


4 cups seeded and chopped fresh tomatoes
2 cups chopped nectarines
1 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup golden raisins
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup cider vinegar
1/2 tsp dry mustard
1/4 tsp kosher salt
A pinch of cayenne pepper, or hot sauce, to taste


Combine all ingredients in a large stainless steel or other nonreactive pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for 1-1/2 hours or until thickened. Stir frequently to keep chutney from burning. Pack into airtight containers and store in the refrigerator for up to a month (or can, using a water-process bath).

[Printer-friendly recipe.]

More vinegars in The Perfect Pantry:
Sherry vinegar
Balsamic vinegar
Red wine vinegar
White wine vinegar
Black vinegar
Rice vinegar

More recipes in The Perfect Pantry:
Blue cheese cole slaw
Dried cranberry and pear chutney
Sweet and spicy tomato jam
Barbecue sauce
Refrigerator zucchini pickles

Other recipes that use cider vinegar:
Sweet and sour red cabbage, from Simply Recipes
Vegan blueberry muffins, from Madhuram's Eggless Cooking
Chili and apple cider vinegar pork, from Anne's Food
Potato salad with sweet potatoes and red onion, from Gluten-Free Goddess
Pickled yellow wax beans, from The Amateur Gourmet

Need more creative ideas for using tomatoes all year round? Get 25 Tomatoes, my e-book packed with fantastic recipes, full-color photos and a fun video tutorial. With the FREE Kindle Reading app, delicious tomato recipes will always be just one click away on any computer, tablet or smart phone. Click here to learn more.

Disclosure: The Perfect Pantry earns a few pennies on purchases made through the Amazon.com links in this post. Thank you for supporting this site when you start your shopping here.


Waiiiiiiiiiiiittttt - don't stop there, how, how much? applied when? etc etc etc

Whoa that is seriously life changing! I had no idea.

The marvels of pH . . . burns 'em!

that´s my favourite chutney, I always make it because I always buy too many nectarines.

My Mum has this dandilion weed that comes up on the front steps every year, no amount of commercial awful weedkiller stops it coming...I'm dousing it in vinegar today!

I'm going to rush right out and try it on poison ivy.

Barley Salad

2 cups chicken broth
3/4 cup barley
3 sliced green onions
fresh: broccoli, green beans, or
snap peas..as much as
you want, whatever you
1 16 oz can blackeyed peas
1/2 cup olive oil (I use less)
1/4 cup cider vinegar
2 tsp sugar

Cook broth and barley about 45 min., or as tender as you ike it.
Cool. Add rest of ingredients.

The white wine vinegar is the only one I have ever used, Lydia - I've heard that apple vinegar is great to get shiny hair. The only thing you have to do is to put some in the water and rinse your hair with it.

Alanna, it seems that different weeds respond differently (how inconvenient!). I use the household vinegars, both white and cider which are both 5% acidity, at full strength. Hope for a rain the following day, because you will definitely smell the vinegar for a while. Here's some additional info:

Amy, neither did I, but you know Ted and I went right outside and tried it with every bit of vinegar in the house -- except the good balsamic, of course.

Tanna, who knew???!

Lobster, I love this chutney. I make it with peaches, too, when my friend Mary has too many falling off her peach tree.

Kelly-Jane, hope this works! See the link I left for Alanna -- might need a stronger concentration for persistent weeds.

Marcia, thanks so much for this wonderful recipe! As for the p.i., well, let me know if it works. I have far too much of it around my place, too.

Patricia, when I was young and had very long hair, I tried all sorts of things -- lemons, beer -- but never cider vinegar! Now my hair is super-short, so I'll have to ask other Pantry readers to try this, and report!

I've heard vinegar relieves sunburn discomfort, but that might be an "Old Wives Tale." It is, however, a cheap, eco-friendly window and coffee pot cleaner. These uses I can vouch for.

wow i love this recipe. what type of fish would you recommend to use?

Gosh I swear my friend was telling me to spritz some diluted vinegar on my plant that was developing a mold...or was it soap water? Anyways, I love apple cider vinegar (that is my common vinegar) and the fact that it has all these "cures" and feats attached to it. But that chutney sounds pretty good too.

This chutney sounds great. I'll have to tag it and make it when nectarines are in season again.

Apple Cider vinegar also helps with allergies I think when mixed with locally grown honey. I don't know the proportions but I've heard of some people having success with it.

Susan, I've used white vinegar to clean my coffee pot, too. I wonder if using cider vinegar on a sunburn would give you a deeper tan?! (just kidding)

Stacy, I love this kind of chutney on "oily" fish, like salmon, because the vinegar in the chutney balances the oil in the fish. I've also used it on tuna, swordfish and roasted halibut.

Callipygia, I think it's soapy water that you spray for mold and mildew and bugs....vinegar could kill the plant. I love cider vinegar, too!

Nora, nectarines (both the yellow- and white-flesh varieties) are my absolute favorite stone fruit. I love this with turkey at Thanksgiving -- the taste reminds me of summer.

Call me weird, but I don't think all brands of vinegar are created equal. I've not been a big fan of cider vinegars until I tried Maille's. It really has an orchardy sweet taste behind the vinegar punch. Yum! I'll have to try it on the weeds.

I've heard that the filtering process removes the extra goodies from the AC vinegar, and that if you want to enjoy its "magical curative powers" you must use an unfiltered variety. I've never researched it so I don't know for sure.

It really kills weeds? Out to the yard I go!

It kills weeds? Now this is some great information. I have never heard of it before.

Death to Weeds! And vinegar is cheaper than Round-up... a lot cheaper, and not nearly as scary.
I think you got everyone's attention with that one!

It kills weeds? Wow! Good to know if I ever get a yard. I try to drink a (small) glass of cider vinegar a day as I think it also keeps the doctor away. I can't remember the name of the brand--it's some fuzzy stuff I get at Whole Foods.

Brilliant! We have plenty of weds to try it on, because of all the rain!

Whoops, I have wed(dings)on my mind just now!

Christine, I'll have to try the Maille's -- though if it's as good as you say, it's too good for the weeds!

Klutzy, I don't know either. Please let me know if you find out more about that.

Kristen, I'm right behind you!

Rose, we tried it in my stone path, and it worked! Took 24 hours, but those poor weeds were definitely shriveled.

Katie, we use Round-up for poison ivy only. It is foul stuff, and if vinegar works on even some of the other weeds, it's a much less toxic solution.

Lisa, do you drink it straight up, on the rocks, diluted in soda? Does it work?

Holler, weddings? Yours??? Do tell.

I read this in a homesteading magazine Mix 1 T dish soap with 2T oil and add to a gallon of vinegar. Spray weeds, this really works, doesn't kill like Roundup but who needs all that poison? It definately stuns the weeds and additional dosings will eventually kill the plant.

Maggie, thank you, and welcome to The Perfect Pantry. I'd rather use anything than Roundup (which I use on poison ivy, I admit -- nothing else seems to work). The combination of dish soap and vinegar sounds promising -- for weed killer, not for cooking!

sad that dandelion is thought of as weed nowadays... it is actually a salad greens like water cress.... prized in mid-19th century England...

Hope you find this question:

Do I peel the nectarines for this chutney? I'm imagining bits of peel in the finished product, but I've never made chutney, so I don't know.

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