Ketchup on Ketchup

I recently saw a Heinz ketchup ad that read, “I put ketchup on my ketchup.” I can relate to that sentiment. While I do love the classics like Heinz, summer’s bounty is too delicious to ignore. Add so, I made this ketchup that elevated a humble weekday meal of homefries and vegetables to something so much more delectable. Not only does this ketchup go where normal ketchup belongs on potatoes of all sorts and lots of veggie burgers, but is at home as a bread dip, sandwich spread, fried egg topping, or even as an Indian chutney. Now, keep in mind this is not just your standard ketchup with only tomatoes; this recipe uses eggplant, onions, and a plethora of spices. I like the extra silkiness the eggplant lends and caramelized onions serve as a fantastic hearty foundation for the other layers of flavors to nestle into.

Hearty Homemade Ketchup

For this recipe, you will need:
¼ cup olive oil
½ a medium onion, chopped finely
½ a medium eggplant, in ~1/2 inch cubes
3 medium tomatoes, chopped roughly
3 cloves garlic
Pinch ground cloves
2 teaspoons dry mustard (the spice, not the condiment)
½ (or more) teaspoons chili powder
½ cup sugar, honey, agave or other sweetener
2/3 cup vinegar (start slow and taste as you go; I like an acidic bite!)
Salt to taste

Large saucepan
Cutting board
Garlic press
Blender, optional

1. Heat the oil in the pan over medium heat.
2. Add the onions. When the onions are translucent, add the eggplant. If the eggplant sticks, gradually add more oil.
3. When the eggplant is soft, add the tomatoes, garlic, cloves, mustard, and chili. Simmer over medium heat until smooth and silky.
4. Add the sweetener, vinegar, and salt. Taste and remove from heat.
5. Optional: blend until smooth. I made it chunky and it was a nice divergence from the pureed grocery store kind.

Thanks to Rachel for yet another charming cartoon.

Posted in _Featured, Green Grub.