Lynn's Prize-Winning Beetroot Chutney

by Elizabeth Atia -

"Elizabeth! Elizabeth! I've won 2nd prize in the Unst show with my beetroot chutney... and I'm only 45!" an excited Lynn told me a few days ago while we were collecting our children after school.

The Unst Agricultural Show is an annual grand day out for all the family. It is a community 'Show Day' with competitions for best livestock and local produce including veggies, baking, knitting & crafts. Baking and preserves awards are often won by SWRI stalwarts; women who, after decades of baking and preserve making, have honed their skills to a fine art - so Lynn is quite justified in being rather chuffed with herself! (Incidentally, the first and third prizes went to SWRI ladies in their sixties!).

Lynn Ritch is a nurse originally from Unst but she now calls the west side of Shetland home along with her husband, three children and two dogs. She grows her own produce and has been making this beetroot chutney from her home grown beets for years. Usually the beets are harvested around this time of year, meaning that the chutney is matured in time for gift giving at Christmas-time.

However, this year they' began growing their produce in a poly tunnel and so the harvest was earlier, just in time to make and submit an entry to the Unst Show.

Lynn usually gives her chutney to friends and family at Christmas time with a packet of Unst oceanic oatcakes and some Shetland cheese.

Lynn's Prize-Winning Beetroot Chutney

Course: Main

Servings: 2 medium jars

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 60 minutes

  • Whole cooked beetroot - 300 grams (cut into 5mm dice)
  • Onion - 150 grams (peeled and chopped)
  • Cooking apples - 120 grams (peeled and chopped into 5mm dice)
  • Demerara sugar - 40 grams
  • Ground ginger - 1/4 tsp
  • Malt vinegar - 80 ml
  • Sea salt - 1 tsp
  1. Mix ingredients together in a large stainless steel pan leaving a 1 inch space at the top.
  2. Bring the mixture to the boil, stirring continuously to dissolve the sugar.
  3. Cover and simmer gently for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Pour into clean, sterilized jars and seal with a lid. Allow to cool and then check the lids to make sure they are sealed.
  5. Leave for a few months to develop in flavour before opening and serving with Unst oceanic oatcakes and Shetland cheese.
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