Roasted Tomato Ketchup

Roasted Tomato KetchupWe Should Ketchup
So, it’s now the second full week of September. And, although the weather is still hot, I have decided it’s time to pull my tomato plants. The heat is starting to take its toll. And, frankly, it’s just time. There are actually quite a few tomatoes still on the vine, so I’m going to have to do something with all that fruit. Sure, the easy answer is to make a big batch of pasta sauce, and I am planning to make at least a small batch to put in the freezer. But, now that football season has started up, my mind is in tailgating mode. In my mind, tailgating and extra tomatoes mean one thing. Ketchup.

While there is nothing wrong with the tried and true Heinz that we all grew up on, homemade ketchup can take your sausage or burger to a whole new level. Making your own ketchup isn’t complicated and it can be fun to mess around with different flavors. I add cayenne to my ketchup because I like a little kick. But, you can leave it out if you aren’t a fan of spicy. A hefty shot of Tabasco works well, too. Curry can be a great addition as can fish sauce for a little southeast Asian flair. You can experiment with the different kinds of vinegar you choose as well. Apple Cider vinegar is classic, but you can do basic distilled white or even try some balsamic for a sweeter result.

The recipe below is adapted from grill king Bobby Flay and is a good basic starting recipe. Strangely, his original version does not have any spice to it—which is his signature. I added it in. I would recommend trying the basic version first so you know what the flavors are before you go messing with it.

Roasted Tomato Ketchup
Adapted from Bobby Flay and The Food Network
Yields approximately 2 cups

3/4 pound ripe tomatoes, cored and quartered
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 medium onion, finely diced
1 clove garlic, finely diced
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon allspice
1/8 teaspoon cayenne
1-1/2 tablespoons honey
Kosher salt
Freshly ground pepper, to taste

Roast the tomatoes
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a small bowl, toss the tomatoes in 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and place them on a baking sheet. Roast until the tomatoes are soft (about 10 to 15 minutes).

Sautee the aromatics
Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat until it is almost smoking. Then sauté the onion and garlic until they become translucent. Reserve the saucepan

Process the tomatoes
Transfer the tomatoes and onion and garlic mixture into a food processor and process until smooth. Strain the sauce, pressing against the solids with a wooden spoon to extract as much pulp and juice as possible.

Make the ketchup
Pour the tomato puree back into the saucepan you used to brown the garlic and onions.  Add the cider vinegar, brown sugar, cinnamon, allspice, cayenne, and honey. Season the mixture with salt and pepper to taste.

Thicken the ketchup
Continue cooking, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until thick, about 20 minutes.

Place the ketchup in a covered container or masons jar. It may be refrigerated for two days.

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