Thursday, January 31, 2008

In a pickle

Every year I make at least two batches of tomato relish. We go through it so quickly as we use it in so many things – my husband has it almost every afternoon with cheese and crackers, it is the perfect base for mouse traps, and well, we just love it!! The recipe I use is one that my Nana used and that my Mum also uses. It is pretty sweet, but you only need a little amount to give flavour. We finished our last jar last week, so seeing as it was a long weekend I thought it was a good time to make some.

I got the tomatoes from Takapuna markets on Sunday morning. Even though it is the end of January, the good tomatoes don’t really start coming for another couple of weeks. I did get some really good tomatoes at the market though. Somehow I managed to get way more tomatoes than I needed for my relish and I couldn’t just double the batch as I didn’t have enough onions or apples to make it. So I looked through some books with the idea of making tomato sauce.

Now, I know that Watties makes the best tomato sauce, but it is always useful to have some home made stuff on hand to add to mince or other savoury dishes etc. It is particularly nice added to chilli con carne. The recipe that appealed to me the most was from Stephanie Alexander’s The Cook’s Companion. This is a great reference book with recipes under ingredient headings. I adapted the recipe a bit for the amount of tomatoes that I had and also changing some of the spice amounts. The end result was a lovely, smooth but spicy tomato sauce. The taste was so good that I wanted to (and did!) lick the spoon. There are not many relish or sauce recipes that you want to do that with as often the flavour can be quite vinagery for a few days. I think I will make it again this year, but with a larger amount of tomatoes.

To celebrate a new batch of tomato relish, we had some for lunch with cheese and this scone like bread I made, based on a recipe from Donna Hay magazine. It was pretty much a scone dough with chopped spinach and grated cheese added with chopped tomato on top. Quite nice.

Tomato Sauce (adapted from recipe from The Cook’s Companion by Stephanie Alexander)

1 kg tomatoes
¼ tsp each ground cloves and ground all spice
pinch cayenne pepper
½ tsp salt
1 tsp ground ginger
2 cloves garlic, chopped
120ml white wine vinegar
200g sugar

· Roughly chop tomatoes and put into pot or preserving pan with all other ingredients other than sugar
· Bring to the boil and simmer for about 40 minutes
· Add sugar, stir to dissolve and then simmer for another 40 minutes or until thickish
· Blend in food processor
Bottle in sterilised bottles – makes about 500ml

1 comment:

Cakelaw said...

The relish and sauce look delicious - I have never tried to make either of these. Love your cute bottle labels!