Tomato Relish (Ketchup)

This recipe is one of those out of necessity inventions. I had a bucket-load of tomatoes (a farmer friend thought brought me two cases from E. Washington.) and wanted to do something special with them. Since I think homemade ketchup is one of the most distinctly homemade things to preserve–voilà, I made ketchup. This is a little chunkier than ketchup normally appears on your plate, hence the moniker relish. However, if you puree the finished product, I think you could put it in a squeeze bottle and wow your friends at the next BBQ.

Tomato Relish (Ketchup)
Makes 3 cups

18 garlic cloves
4 -inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and coarsely chopped
Peel from 1 navel oranges
1 cup fresh orange juice
6 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon brown mustard seeds
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
pinch of allspice
7 cups peeled, chopped tomatoes
1 ½ cups cider vinegar
2/3 cup brown sugar
2/3 cup honey
3 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper or red chili flakes
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1. Purée the garlic, ginger, orange peel, and orange juice in a blender. Set aside.

2. Heat the olive oil in a 2- to 3-quart heavy saucepan over moderately high heat until hot, but not smoking. Add the mustard seeds and fennel seeds and sauté for 1 minute. Add the garlic mixture and cook over moderate heat, stirring, 1 minute more. Add the tomatoes (with all juices), vinegar, sugar, honey, salt, black pepper, and cayenne and bring to a boil.

3. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer the relish (uncovered), stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 1 1/2 to 2 hours (lower the heat as necessary).

4. Immediately pack into individual canning jars and seal well, invert.

5. When cooled, refrigerate for at least two days (to develop flavors) and up to 4 weeks.

CAA Contributor Nicole Aloni is the author of 3 books about the art of cooking and entertaining: The Backyard Bartender, Secrets From A Caterer’s Kitchen, and Cooking for Company. Nicole makes frequent television appearances. She also teaches cooking and entertaining across the country and leads culinary trips to exotic locations (like Italy and Bali), and contributes articles to national magazines. Presently Nicole is focusing her attention on her blog, A Conscious Feast. The site chronicles the development of her forthcoming book, A Conscious Feast; the cook’s guide to joyful, mindful entertaining. Prior to her writing career, Nicole completed the diploma course at La Varenne Ecole de Cuisine in Paris, owned her own restaurant and directed one of the country’s largest catering companies. She lives, cooks, and entertains in Seattle, WA.

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