Last year I took the first steps of trying to grow my own vegetable & herb garden. It’s been an amazing learning process: with many successes & failures!
I find it utterly amazing, seeing how certain vegetables grow – I had no clue! It’s been an eye opening experience.
Through it all, you realise how imperfect your vegetables grow, which lead then to so many questions on how we only see “perfect” vegetables in our stores, and what it takes to make them so “perfect”.
But putting that aside, I had a bumper crop of cherry tomatoes, and thus out of the need to preserve and not throw away, I made copious amounts of ‘tomato chutney’ for me, my family & friends.
It’s delicious & sweet, which makes it a perfect accompaniment with cheese, or a topping on your fish, chicken etc. Use it in whatever you’d normally use ‘tomatoes’ and/or onions for! Just experiment!
Ingredients (recipe can be halved, doubled, quartered etc)
500g red onion (chunky chopped or thinly sliced)
1kg cherry tomatoes
150ml red wine vinegar
1 tbsp coconut oil
optional: 2 chillies OR 5 cm ginger, 10 cardamom seeds, 1 tsp paprika Note: I ran out of red wine vinegar, so added apple cider vinegar! So use other vinegars if you don’t have red wine vinegar….
How to make?
Fry the onions in the coconut oil, until nicely softened and translucent.
Now add all the other ingredients into the pot and stir. Get the mixture to a gentle simmer and allow it to cook slowly.
My quantity took close to 90-120 minutes to cook down to a nice thick consistency similar to jam. Timing will be dependent on the quantity you cook. I suggest you check it ever now & then & stir, when it appears to be nearly complete, then keep stirring, since you don’t want the bottom to burn, due to the caramelisation of the mixture.
Then decant into sterilised glass containers and seal. Keep in fridge. Once open consume within a 2 week period.
If you want to make it more into a tomato sauce, simply puree it in a blender! And voila ‘tomato sauce’.
is a staple “ingredient” I believe for anyone’s freezer, due to it’s wide versatility & appeal.
It can be made into a soup, it can be used as a sauce, it can be modified into a meaty Bolognese sauce. In fact, there should be an ode to it!
Frozen Italian Tomato Sauce
15ml coconut oil (or olive oil) & 15g butter
500g onions, finely chopped
4 stalks celery, chopped
125ml parsley, chopped
5ml xylitol (or sugar)
3kg jam tomatoes, cored and halved
250g young carrots, finely chopped
2 sprigs fresh thyme
2ml dried oregano
2ml dried basil (or use fresh if available, but if using fresh, add only at the end of the cooking process, otherwise adds too strong a peppery flavor)
85ml Italian tomato paste
2 bay leaves
4 cloves garlic crushed
salt & pepper
How to make?
Place the oil & butter in a large pot, on medium heat.
Add the chopped onions and fry gently, until transparent, without browning, for 5minutes
Stir in the remaining ingredients and simmer for 2 hours.
Puree in a food processor or use blitz stick.
Cool and pack in containers and freeze until required
To make this into a soup, take 500ml of the above, add 250-500ml vegetable or chicken stock to it (quantity will differ depending on how thick you want your soup to be) and add 125ml cream (can add more if you so wish), put on a stove in a saucepan, stir and get to a gentle simmer for a few minutes, it should then be ready to be eaten.
Add olives to it, for more interesting flavors & textures.
Great sauce over chicken or fish.
Great sauce for over roughly chopped, cooked broccoli or cauliflower, if you don’t eat gluten/high-refined carbs.
Other ideas: This sauce serves as a great sauce over pasta esp. for vegetarians. Or you can add mince to it, to make a quick bolognaise sauce.