Tomato Balsamic Relish

Automne 2012
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food and drink

BY: Tonia Wilson-Vuksanovic

Make sure to use ripe and tasty tomatoes to ensure great flavour for the final product.

8 lbs (3.5 kg) plum tomatoes
1 small bottle of sun-dried tomatoes in oil (about 210 mL), drained and oil reserved
½ cup (125 mL) garlic, peeled and finely chopped
½ tsp (2 mL) chili flakes
2 tsp (10 mL) salt
½ cup (125 mL) capers, drained
½ cup (125 mL) sugar
1 cup (250 mL) balsamic vinegar


TO PEEL TOMATOES
1 Bring a large pot of water to the boil.

2 Slice a small “x” (about ½-inch/1 cm) on the bottoms of the tomatoes; this will allow the skin to peel more easily.

3 When the water is boiling, carefully place 6 tomatoes into the pot. Let boil for 1 minute, remove with a slotted spoon and place in a large bowl of ice water; this prevents them from continuing to cook. Continue the process with the remaining tomatoes until all are “blanched.”

4 Peel off all the skins from the tomatoes. If some skins are persistent return the tomato to the boiling water for another minute.


TO MAKE RELISH
1 Trim stem end of tomatoes and slice in half widthwise. Using your fingertips, pull the majority of the seeds out of the tomato cavities; they should come out in 1 large piece. Doing this leaves only the tasty flesh of the tomato and none of the bitterness from the seeds. Finely chop the sun-dried tomatoes.

2 In a second large pot, heat reserved sundried tomato oil over medium, add garlic and sauté for 2 minutes. Add plum tomatoes, sundried tomatoes, chili flakes, salt, capers, sugar and balsamic vinegar. Bring to the boil and reduce heat to simmer. Simmer uncovered until tomatoes are fully softened and the mixture has thickened, about 50 minutes. While cooking, stir occasionally and crush tomatoes with a wooden spoon so that they eventually fall apart. Season to taste with salt.

3 To can the relish, bring a large pot of water to the boil. Boil 500 mL canning jars and lids for 5 minutes to sterilize, carefully drain from water and fill jars with warm tomato mixture, wipe rims clean. Place tops and lids on jars and tighten. Boil jars (make sure to have a full boil on high heat) in the same large pot with enough water to come to the top of the jars. Boil jars for 30 minutes. Use an additional pot if more space is needed.

Tomato Balsamic Relish will last for 1 year.

Makes about 6 jars, each 2 cups (500 mL)