Jun 21, 2010


Ketchup is a staple ingredient in our household. As we began the locavore challenge, one of our rules was that we would not go to the store before hand to stock up on anything...we would just continue on with what we had on hand and when it ran out either make it or do without. Well, last week we ran out of ketchup and now that potatoes are coming into season, well, we must have ketchup. John has taken on the responsibility to create any condiments or staple items that we might need such as chicken stock and in this case ketchup. So, on Saturday we drove out to a nearby market located on the side of the road that had plenty of delicious looking red tomatoes. Granted, it is not quite tomato season up here, but this farmer uses a hothouse to grow them during the off-season. We bought 10 tomatoes and headed home to test out our new recipe.

We chose to cut the original recipe into thirds and saw in some other recipes that people had added in some sweetness so we did a hybrid of recipes. We forgot to time how long it took to reduce the mixture a ketchup consistency but it was a while. It was definitely cool to see it go from liquid to a nice thickness. The smells from the spices filled our house with deliciousness. Unfortunately, since we only used one cup of the vinegar it evaporated within the 30 minutes of simmering so, we recommend only simmering it for about 15 minutes. Since the vinegar disappeared, we thought we could just adding another cup into the spice mixture and it would be okay...well once that was added to the tomatoes lets just say that the ketchup had a nice bite of vinegar. Thats when we saw that other people's recipes added in brown sugar or maple syrup so, we decided to give it a try thinking that it might help out with the overpowering of the vinegar. It definitely helped but there is still a strong vinegar taste to it.

The original recipe called for a tablespoons of paprika which we didn't have. We did have cayenne and thought it would be a good substitution for the paprika. We put in a couple teaspoons of cayenne and whew!! spicey! Next time, we will just add a couple dashes.

All in all, it was a fun experiment and we will definitely use the ketchup we made until its gone. Next time I believe we will try a different recipe.

Recipe and pics after the jump


recipe source: alibi.com
serving: a little more than one jars worth


10 fresh tomatoes
1 medium onion
1 cup vinegar
1 stick cinnamon
1 tsp cloves
1/3 head of garlic, minced
1 tablespoon agave nectar
cayenne to taste
3 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp agave nectar


This recipe can take a while to make because of the time needed to reduce the mixture to a ketchup consistency.

Slice the onions place in food processor or blender. Add tomatoes and liquefy.

Place mixture in pot and simmer the mixture for about half an hour. Then push it through a food sieve or food mill. Get everything but the skins and seeds through…this might take a little work.

Return mixture to the pot and simmer slowly, stirring often.

In a different pot, simmer the vinegar (we used apple cider vinegar) with the cinnamon, cloves and garlic. After 15 minutes, kill the heat under the vinegar.

When the tomato-and-onion mixture has almost reached the consistency of ketchup (this can take a while), filter out the spices by pouring the vinegar mixture through a strainer and into the pot.

At this point, add in the cayenne to taste, brown sugar and agave nectar. The vinegar will dilute the ketchup slightly; continue to simmer until it's thick.

Pour into desired container and enjoy! Should have a shelf life of about 2 months.


  1. A couple teaspoons of cayenne?!! Wheeee!!!!!! I think it is incredibly cool that you guys made ketchup.

  2. Last night we tried the ketchup for the first time with some homemade chicken nuggets and oven fries....delicious! The overly vinegar taste we had experienced during our first taste was not nearly as strong now that its had some time to sit in the fridge. Still gonna cut down on the cayenne!