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Pineapple Chutney With Mezcal and Vanilla Bean

Time1 hour 10 minutes
YieldsMakes 2 1/2 cups
Mezcal adds an earthy, smoky tinge to tropically sweet pineapple in this chutney perfumed with whole vanilla bean pod.
(Christina House / Los Angeles Times)
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Major Grey’s chutney, the Indian-influenced British condiment typically made with mango, serves as the inspiration for this pineapple version, imbued with fragrant vanilla bean and cut through with smoky mezcal. Bright lime, spicy ginger and the mineral sweetness of golden raisins add even more tropical fragrance to the chunky sweet condiment that’s best served over smoked meats, grilled turkey or chicken, salmon or grilled lobster and shrimp.

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1

Using a paring knife, split the vanilla bean pod in half lengthwise. Using the tip of the knife, scrape out the seeds and transfer them to a small bowl. Very thinly slice the vanilla pod, then run your knife through it a few times to make sure it’s very finely minced. Transfer the chopped pod to the bowl as well.

2

Bring the mezcal to a boil in a medium saucepan and cook until reduced by half, 1 ½ to 2 minutes. Stir in the vinegar, both sugars, the lime juice and salt to dissolve the sugar, then add the reserved chopped vanilla bean and its seeds, the pineapple, raisins, ginger, onion, garlic and cinnamon.

3

Place the pan over high heat, cover and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to maintain a gentle simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is reduced, almost all the liquid is gone and the mixture is glossy and thick, 50 to 55 minutes.

4

Remove the pan from the heat and let the chutney cool completely. Transfer the chutney to an airtight storage container and refrigerate at least 8 hours to thicken before serving.

Make Ahead:
Refrigerate the chutney in an airtight container for up to 1 month.