Recipe of the Week – Tomato Ketchup

Tomatoes are a vegetable that can be preserved in many ways – they can be naturally stored (laid carefully in a drawer for example), frozen or dried; they can be used in jams, jellies, relishes and chutneys. They can be made in to sauces (handy for the freezer for later use in pastas and pizzas), and also bottled and preserved in oil.

I adapted this recipe from the tomato ketchup recipe in ‘The Preserving Book’ by Lynda Brown. It’s very straightforward, and makes 2-3 small jars which will keep for 3 months.



1kg ripe toms, roughly chopped
1 carrot, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
1 celery stick, chopped
good pinch ground cloves
1 large bay leaf
2 mace blades or teaspoon ground mace
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp black peppercorns
1 tsp whole allspice
150ml red wine vinegar
60g light soft brown sugar


Put all the ingredients except the sugar in a large stainless steel saucepan. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 30 minutes then remove the lid and cook for another 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Discard the mace and bay leaves and puree the liquid in a blender – then rub through a sieve, back in to the rinsed-out pan. Stir in the sugar, bring back to the boil, and boil stirring all the time, for 5 minutes to allow the sauce develop a thick cream-like consistency. Pour in to warm, sterilsed kilner or screw-top jars. Cool, seal and label, and store in a cool, dark place. Once opened, keep in the fridge and use within 2 weeks.


Tip of the Week – Ripening Green Tomatoes

A good way to ripen green toms is to place them in a tray and put them in a drawer – next to them place a couple of ripe apples which will generate the ripening gas ethylene which will help them ripen. Ripe tomatoes will keep in the fridge for about a week in a polythene bag.