Tomato and Capsicum Ketchup

One of the things I love about my local fruit and veg stall on Chiswick High Road (just ajacent to Henry Harris’s The Crown), is their £1 table. It’s been a bit cramped since The Crown put tables with big parasols in front of its pavement railings, but it’s still flourishing. I often buy tomatoes and red peppers and glut cook with two of my favourite ingredients. That’s how this recipe came about, roasting little peppers and tomatoes, then blitzing peeled and seeded peppers, leaving the halved tomatoes whole. I also added a few shallots to the foil-lined roasting tin and could have added garlic too but as I wanted this to serve with fish and chips, garlic didn’t seem appropriate. It hardly needs a recipe and is an idea to play with. It could also be used as a sauce and in greater quantities become soup (see Roasted Red Peppers and Tomato Soup).

Serves 4-6

Prep: 25 min

Cook: 45 min

6 tomatoes, bog standard cheapest type

4 small Romano (pointed) red peppers

4 shallots

1-2 tbsp olive oil

1-2 tsp runny honey

squeeze lemon

     Heat the oven to 180C/gas mark 4. Line a shallow roasting tin with foil. Halve the tomatoes and place cut-side up in the middle of the tray. Arrange the peppers around them and tuck shallots on the outside edge. Smear cut tomato with olive oil. Roast for 15 minutes, use tongs to turn the peppers and return for a further 15 minutes by which time their skin will be puffy and blackened. Use tongs to transfer to a plate, cover with a stretch of clingfilm and leave for 20 minutes before removing skin, stalk and swiping away seeds (messy), aiming to retain as much juice as possible. The tomatoes and shallots will need a further 15 minutes or so until the shallots are very soft and bursting out of their skins, the tomatoes soft and juicy. When cool enough to handle, peel away the shallot skin and place shallots, peppers and juices and unskinned tomatoes in a food processor. Blitz until smooth. Pass through a sieve into a small saucepan, forcing with a plastic spatula, so only pips remain. Don’t forget to scrape underneath so nothing is wasted. Season to taste with salt, pepper, a little honey and/or lemon if not sweet enough. Simmer, stirring, over a low heat, continuing for a few minutes until thick and creamy. Transfer to a jar/bowl, cool, cover with cling film and chill until required.