Fruity and smoky – Homemade tomato rhubarb ketchup

tomato rhubarb ketchup 1

Suddenly it seams that ketchup is improving every meal. – I guess, I am obsessed. Withing two weeks it has become my go-to condiment. How come?

pita with spring salad

It all started with this recipe I stumbled upon. I hesitated – tomato ketchup: all right – rhubarb ketchup: ? But after thinking twice, imagining the taste, I found this sounded very promising – especially for a lover of tart fruits.

And it is! Whoever had this idea in the first place – I love him or her! … and I am a bit jealous that it wasn’t me.

tomato rhubarb ketchup 4

The rhubarb that accompanies the tomatoes in this ketchup makes it lovingly fruity.

As I had wanted to make my own ketchup for a while now, but didn’t do I read those two recipes – to find out that ingredients were similar, but that the ratio of fruit/vegetable:sugar:vinegar differed a lot. Through experimenting I finally found my perfect balance of tart – fruity – sweet that can be found in the recipe further down. But feel free to start f.ex. with less sugar and slowly add more until you’ve reached your desired outcome.

And then there is this spicy-smoky counterpart I added…

tomato rhubarb ketchup

All-spice, cinnamon, cloves, cardamom and bay leaves are giving their flavour to this sauce while simmering.

Plus: smoked paprika powder! If you haven’t tried this and maybe wonder whether a bit of paprika can make a difference, buy some pimentón dulce ahumado and taste the difference! If you’re not sure if and how intense you’d like the smoky notes in your ketchup, start with a little dash and find your style.

Additionally I’ve roasted the tomatoes in the oven before cooking them.

oven roasted tomatoes

On cooking time: I let my ketchup on the stove for nearly two hours – this makes a flavour intense thick version, but take off the heat if you think you’ve reached the taste and texture you prefer. What probably is inevitable: to thoroughly clean the stove top after cooking the bubbling and splattering sauce…

tomato rhubarb ketchup

Now I guess you’d better run to the (super) market, grab some stalks of rhubarb and good bag full of tomatoes and prepare for the upcoming BBQ and picnic season!

tomato rhubarb ketchup 5

Homemade tomato rhubarb ketchup (makes about 1 l)

1 kg tomatoes, 750 g rhubarb, 2 tablespoons olive oil, 2 small onions, 2 garlic cloves, 170 g tomato paste, 2 bay leaves, 4 cardamon pods, 1 cinnamon stick, 8 teaspoon allspice berries, 8 cloves, 1 teaspoons smoked paprika powder, grounded pepper, 2-3 teaspoons salt, 150 ml white balsamic vinegar, 200 g brown sugar

Preheat oven to 180°C. Wash and halven tomatoes. Put on lined baking pan, cut sides down and roast in the oven for 45 minutes.

Meanwhile peel rhubarb stalks and cut into chunks. Peel and dice onions and garlic. In a big pot heat olive oil, sautée onions and garlic until transparent and add rhubarb. Simmer for 10 to 15 minutes until rhubarb falls apart. Stir in tomato paste and add roasted tomatoes (together with their remaining juice). Purée with a handheld blender. Add spices (you could use a spice bag), salt, vinegar and sugar and simmer at low heat for 1½ -2 hours without (or halve closed) lid, until the sauce has reached a creamy texture.

Strain through a fine-meshed sieve and pour back into pot. Bring to boil once again, season to taste and fill into sterilized jars or bottles.


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