Friday, October 10, 2014

Spicy Smoky Beet Ketchup

I tell ya, even getting a small CSA box leaves one with a ton of veggies and fruits to use up before they go bad. Every time I open the crisper drawer, I spot something else that needs to be cooked. "Oh yeah - those Chioggia beets! I forgot all about them!" Mr Minx had cooked up the tops and combined them with organic kale, but left the root part for me. He's not a big fan of beets, and the three beets I was now staring at were enormous--no way I was going to eat them without assistance.

So I made ketchup. As with everything I cook, I think "why the hell not?" I've had mango ketchup and banana ketchup. Beets are sweet, too, and red. Like ketchup. Chioggia beets are pink though, so to up the color, I added balsamic vinegar. And, of course, brown sugar and spices. I always think ketchup tastes like cloves, but those little suckers are pungent. I didn't want to go overboard, so I just added a pinch. After tasting my concoction, I added a bit of smoked paprika and cayenne, for oomph. You can add more cayenne, if you want, but I thought a small amount was more prudent.

The texture, after pureeing, is rather thick and spoonable, rather than pourable. Heinz ain't got nothing on homemade.

We served the ketchup on lamb burgers, and it was really delicious. I think beet bbq sauce made with beet ketchup might be the next step.

Spicy, Smoky Beet Ketchup

2 cups chopped roasted beets
4 cloves garlic, crushed
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander seed
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon cayenne
1/8 teaspoon smoked paprika
Pinch ground cloves

Place the beets, garlic, and vinegars in a saucepan and stir to combine. Turn heat on to high and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes, until beets are tender. Stir in seasonings and cook for an additional 5 minutes.

Puree mixture in a food processor or blender. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Makes about 1 1/2 cups.

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