When we want to go out for dinner but still be super casual, we visit the grill at our neighborhood Whole Foods and get their turkey burger. It’s much healthier than a beef hamburger, not greasy at all and comes with a large side salad. The best part of the WF turkey burger though is the tomato jam they put on the burger. It’s thicker than regular ketchup and slightly sweet. D challenged me to make some for us at home, which seemed like a daunting task until my March issue of Real Simple arrived and there was a recipe for tomato jam inside! It is super easy to make and tastes so much better than Heinz ketchup (think: no preservatives, super fresh, slightly sweet). Here’s my recipe adapted from RS. Since I don’t like to cook with a lot of salt, I used low-sodium whole peeled tomatoes and a very slight pinch of salt for depth.
Homemade Ketchup (aka Tomato Jam)
Adapted from Real Simple, March 2012 issue
1 28-oz can whole peeled tomatoes (low sodium – you can find at Trader Joe’s)
1/2 cup sugar
Pinch kosher salt
1. Empty the entire can of tomatoes (and juices – do not drain) into a deep large skillet. Add sugar and salt. Bring mixture to a boil, stirring frequently.
2. Reduce heat to medium and cook, mashing occasionally, until thick and jammy. This should take 20 minutes or so
3. If you don’t like the idea of “thick” ketchup, once cooled, put in blender and puree until smooth.
4. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
We use this homemade ketchup on burgers, fries, anything else you might put ketchup on. You can even add some spices like oregano and use it as a pizza sauce. However, our new favorite way to spread this is on slices of lightly-buttered bread that have been toasted then topped with extra-sharp cheddar cheese and melted under the broiler for a few minutes. (See below for a picture.)