We have some paste tomatoes growing in the back. I think one of the plants was supposed to be a yellow pear tomato, but it got confused, because it looks pretty well like a pear-shaped roma. It appears that the cross-pollination is causing hybridization.
That is the only possible explanation for it. (Never mind that everything I’ve read suggests that hybrids don’t show up until the next generation). Well, that, or the labels were wrong. It happened the same way last year, too. I think that roma tomatoes are some sort of bully, because they always seem to win out over the other varietal I thought I had. Maybe someone who is a gardener can explain this to me. From now on I’m just not planting tomatoes within visible distance of each other and hoping that helps. Or perhaps I should just accept roma tomatoes as my tomato overlords.
I don’t mind this terribly since paste tomatoes are extra good for cooking and for the most part I don’t eat salad and so I don’t eat raw tomatoes. (No, I can’t explain my salad aversion except maybe it’s a Vata thing. Or because I was a vegetarian in middle america for a really long time and just got tired of them)
Unfortunately, the tomatoes are also very small and don’t go a long way. And I really wanted to make ketchup. Because, ketchup. So I mixed in some cherry tomatoes and some heirlooms from my CSA. Really this could be done with any type of tomatoes, but depending on how juicy the tomatoes are, it might take a bit longer to cook. I did not preserve this recipe and I do not recommend it as it has not been tested in any way. It does follow the basic tomato ketchup formula but it cannot be counted on. It’s a small batch recipe anyhow, since I don’t have two bushels of tomatoes, so keep it in your fridge. It will go pretty fast, because it’s delicious.
This ketchup has a very bright, spicy flavor. If you don’t like spicy you may want to use only half of a hot pepper, or use a less spicy variety. If you really like spicy, use two peppers. I found this to be extremely spicy and tangy when hot but the flavor settled down a lot after being refrigerated.
First, you will coarsely chop the ingredients and then mix them with the vinegar and spices, then simmer.
Once the tomatoes have soften up, blend in batches and strain. Then you will add the sweetener (I used a combination of brown and organic cane sugars) and simmer again until the desired texture is reached. It took mine about an hour.
Remember that the ketchup will thicken up a bit more as it cools. And it will not be quite as smooth as store-bought ketchup.
Done! Serve with burgers or french fries. Particularly yummy with sweet potato fries!
- 1 tbsp canola oil
- About 4 lbs tomatoes (may use any variety in this or mix it up)
- 2-3 cloves of garlic
- 1 hot red pepper
- ½ c cider vinegar
- 1 tsp turmeric
- ½ tsp salt
- ½-1 tsp pepper
- ½ cup sugar (brown or cane; could sub honey or agave if desired)
- Coarsely chop tomatoes (core if necessary). Peel garlic. Cut and stem pepper, seed if desired. Put tomatoes, garlic, and pepper in a medium sized pot and add the vinegar and spices. Heat to boiling over medium heat and then turn down to a simmer. Simmer for 15-20 minutes or until tomatoes are falling apart.
- Blend in small batches, then strain through a fine mesh strainer. Discard solids. Return the strained liquid to the pot and simmer until reduced to desired texture. This may take between 30 minutes and an hour, or more depending on how watery your tomatoes are.
- Spoon into containers and refrigerate.
- Makes about 2 cups.