19 September, 2008

What to do with green tomatoes

I have lots of tomatoes, all different shapes and sizes and the wrong colour. Not that I'm knocking things made with green tomatoes but let's face it, they are compensation for the fact that the damn things didn't ripen. It was a lousy summer.

I will be making some green tomato chutney but the first instruction - skin the tomatoes - made it pretty clear that this wouldn't be a good recipe for the green Lylia Cerisette cherry tomatoes which are tiny. So instead I turned to Jamie Oliver and his book Jamie at Home which has a recipe for homemade tomato ketchup.

Homemade tomato ketchup

makes about 500ml

1 large red onion, peeled and roughly chopped
1/2 a bulb of fennel, trimmed and roughly chopped
1 stick of celery, trimmed and roughly chopped
olive oil
a thumb-sized piece of fresh ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and sliced
1/2 a fresh red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
a bunch of fresh basil, leaves picked, stalks chopped
1 tablespoon coriander seeds
2 cloves
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
sea salt
1kg green tomatoes, chopped
200ml red wine vinegar
70g soft brown sugar

Place all the vegetables in a large heavy-bottomed saucepan with a big splash of olive oil and the ginger, garlic, chilli, basil stalks, coriander seeds and cloves. Season with the pepper and a good pinch of salt.

Cook gently over a low heat for 10 to 15 minutes until softened, stirring every so often. Add all the tomatoes and 350ml of cold water. Bring to the boil and simmer gently until the sauce reduces by half.

Add the basil leaves, then whiz the sauce in a food processor or with a hand blender and push it through a sieve twice, to make it smooth and shiny.

Put the sauce into a clean pan and add the vinegar and the sugar. Place the sauce on the heat and simmer until it reduces and thickens to the consistency of tomato ketchup. At this point, correct the seasoning to taste.

Spoon the ketchup through a sterilized funnel into sterilized bottles, then seal tightly and place in a cool dark place or the fridge until needed - it should keep for six months.

Tastes spicy, possibly a bit too vinegary, but delicious. Lottie likes it. Millie doesn't. But then Lottie is our marmite, pink grapefruit juice loving child. And Millie likes honey.


Elizabeth Musgrave said...

Sounds good. We have a greenhouse full of tomatoes so I am really hoping they ripen.

Buddhist in Training said...

Sounds fantastic!! My girls' tastes are similar to yours, number one would love it like me, number two would not be so sure!