I unfortunately did not have the tomato plant covered, or in an area where deer could not get at it and the deer decided to eat it all, practically down to the nib. I was miffed but not disheartened. I did not give up on the plant, I covered it up and allowed it to do what nature does best. This happily worked and by late August I was granted one small perfectly red tomato, it was delicious.
The plant did not stop there, it grew more tomatoes but the weather has changed and I worried that all the rain would spoil the fruit, therefore I chose to pick the crop and wait to see if they ripened anymore inside. This may have worked, they were starting to ripen but I am not a patient person and so decided to use the green tomatoes in some recipes or another.
I am not really a big condiment user but as I stared at the green tomatoes they reminded me of a ketchup I had while I was in Quebec City, it was amazing. If you want to experience traditional Quebec cuisine I recommend taking a trip to Restaurant Aux Anciens Canadiens and try the A Decouvrir for a truly gastronomic adventure, but I digress.
I was struck with a thought by the sight of these tomatoes that I could easily whip up a Quebec style ketchup that would be enjoyed for many months to come.
The only real difference between my ketchup and a real Quebec ketchup is I did not put peaches in mine as they are out of season and I personally do not like canned peaches. I also substituted the sugar and replaced it with honey.
Nonetheless I believe it was successful and I encourage you to embrace unripened tomatoes and turn them into a wonderful culinary addition to your pantry.
A special thanks to Restaurant Aux Anciens Canadiens, Canadian Living and Jamie Oliver for inspiration and help with this recipe.
- 1 stalk celery, chopped roughly
- 2-3 cloves garlic, chopped roughly
- 1 sweet pepper, seeded and chopped roughly
- 1 onion, chopped roughly
- Small piece of ginger, peeled and chopped roughly
- Half a chilli, seeded, chopped roughly (more if wanted)
- 2 cups apple, peeled, cored and chopped roughly
- 2 cups peaches, cored, chopped roughly ( fresh is best, otherwise you can use canned but this will change consistency)
- 6 cups tomatoes, chopped roughly ( I used mainly green tomatoes, but added some cherry tomatoes and one field tomato to give more sweetness)
- ½ tbsp olive oil
- ¼ cup honey plus a bit more for taste ( regular white sugar or brown sugar can be used or try another type of syrup, like agave or maple syrup. This also means ketchup will be vegan too!)
- 1¾ apple cider vinegar
- ¼ cup water
- Salt and pepper
- In large saucepan combine celery, garlic, sweet pepper, onion, ginger, chilli and olive oil. Season with salt and pepper Allow to simmer for 5 min.
- Add apples, tomatoes, vinegar, water and honey and cook on low heat for 10-15 min. Bring to a boil then reduce to simmer.
- Stirring constantly simmer until mixture is thick and chunks are tender and no longer watery, around 2 hours, but can take less or more time depending on heat distribution. Check for taste and play around with it until it is to your satisfaction.
- Puree (if wanted) then transfer to jars or bottles. Keep refrigerated or
- can the ketchup to last longer.