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This was one of the more popular preserves I have sold at my little market stall.  It’s one of those condiments that brings sunshine to everything from what can be a boring sandwich to a basic tomato passata sauce.  Great too at sprucing up an enchilada or goats cheese salad or just simply with a mountain of tortilla chips like Mr VP and me in front of the TV coveting a small pot each.

Most salsas only last a couple of days in the refrigerator but this can be kept for months unopened or eaten within a few weeks after opening.  You may accidentally lose the lid of the jar leading to ‘waste not want not’  frugal thoughts and eat it all within the day, (ahem).  Be proud, as this is cost-conscious kitchen budgeting.  Dip it, spread it and try it on everything, even a fried egg as Darina suggests.  I have been known to eat it with a spoon straight from the jar when I’m waiting for dinner to cook, when I can’t get my hand any further into the bottom of the nutella jar that is.  

Also this isn’t a jelly so don’t expect a supermarket type jam with a ping-pong ball set.  It’s home-made without chemicals and is more of a salsa texture.  I sometimes use cherry tomatoes and up the chillies, use whatever chilli heat you’re comfortable with.  I treble the recipe below too, especially in summer, add another 30 minutes cooking time though.

Adapted from one of my main cookery bibles ‘Forgotten Skills of Cooking’ by the iconic  Darina Allen of Ballymaloe Cookery School in Cork.  My first ever cookbook as a teenager was her first publication ‘Simple & Delicious’.

You Will Need –

500g ripe tomatoes

2-4 red chillies

4 garlic cloves, peeled and finely

1 small red onion, peeled and halved

1″ or 1/2 thumb size fresh ginger, peeled

310g granulated sugar

100ml red wine vinegar

To Do –

Place the onion, garlic, ginger and chillies into a food processor or blender and blitz until fine.

Add rinsed halved tomatoes and blitz briefly until roughly half inch size.  Don’t terrorise into mush, you need texture.

Put all of this with the sugar and vinegar into a saucepan and bring to the boil, stirring every now and then.

Cook for forty minutes over a low to medium heat, stirring a few times.

Pour into sterilised jars, see here and seal tightly with the lid.


Sheelagh x.

I’m sending this over to Dom at Bellau Kitchen for Random Recipes

and also Vanilla Clouds and Lemon Drops for the Sweet Heat Challenge