Rubies In The Rubble – Chilli Onion Relish Recipe

13th May 2020

Rubies in the Rubble are on a mission to help us fix the food chain by utilising products that would otherwise go to waste and turning them into delicious condiments! Rubie’s founder, Jenny Costa, shares one of her favourite recipes for you to try at home – chilli onion relish.

Did you know that a third of all food produced globally is wasted? Or that food waste is one of the leading contributors to global warming?

At Rubies in the Rubble, we believe that food should be valued as a precious resource. That’s why our products are packed with delicious ingredients that would otherwise go to waste – not because they taste any different, but often because they’re the wrong shape, size or colour.
Some say this is a load of rubbish, we take that as a condiment.

Growing up on a farm in rural Scotland, I learnt to be resourceful & creative with food. After moving to London to start a job in Finance, I began reading about the problem of food waste. Shocked by the amount of fruit and veg that is rejected because it doesn’t look perfect, I began rescuing produce from New Covent Garden market and experimenting in the kitchen with childhood recipes.

In 2012, I decided to take the idea from side hustle to centre stage. Fast-forward eight years and Rubies in the Rubble is one of the pioneering voices in food sustainability, with an award-winning range of condiments.
Our range of ketchups & relishes are made with fresh fruit & vegetables sourced directly from farms, whilst our mayo is made with aquafaba, a plant-based alternative to eggs that is usually thrown away. Condiments are a fantastic way of preserving produce by extending their shelf-life with vinegars and sugars.

Chilli Onion relish was one of our first recipes. It’s a hot twist on a classic we used to make on the farm. To source the onions, we work closely with a farm in Essex, we collect the onions which were too small or slightly blemished for the supermarket so would otherwise be left to rot in the field. For pairing, it really is an all-rounder, but it’s particularly great dolloped onto burgers or with goats cheese.

Chilli Onion Relish Recipe

  • 1kg (c.10 onions) red onions 
  • 1 chilli finely chopped (or more if you like a little more heat!)
  • 200g soft brown sugar 
  • 100ml red wine vinegar 
  • 150ml balsamic vinegar 
  • 1 tbsp / generous swig of vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp salt 
  1. Chop your onions into thin short slices and put in a wide based pan with the chilli and salt. 
  2. Cook gently (with the lid on) for 30mins until the onions are soft
  3. Take the lid off and stir in the sugar
  4. Then add the vinegars and let your chutney cook until thick and sticky (around 60mins, but we’ve been known to slowly cook for 12 hours!). 
  5. Once ready, spoon the chutney into dry, sterilised* jars and lid.
  6. Leave to cool before adding a label.

Chilli onion relish can be enjoyed immediately but, as we do with our products, it is best to leave for at least a month before eating to allow for the flavours to mature. 

* For easy home sterilising, put clean jars through a hot cycle in the dishwasher and leave to dry.  

Alternatively, put your jars (minus lids) in the oven for 15mins at 150C before jarring.

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