Piquillo Pepper Ketchup Recipe
Roasted peppers and tomatoes make an unbeatable combination. Piquillo peppers, with their smoky, sweet piquancy, have a unique and irresistible flavor. Piquillos, a trademark ingredient of Spanish cooking, are a variety of sweet red pepper that is roasted over oak fires and hand peeled. They can be found, jarred, in specialty food shops. Keeping a jar of these delicious peppers on your pantry shelf is a good habit to fall into.
Build your own: You can substitute roasted sweet bell peppers, but the ketchup will not have quite the same wonderful, aromatic flavor.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 cup finely chopped yellow onion
- 1 pound (about 7 medium) plum tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and chopped
- One 12-ounce jar piquillo peppers, roughly chopped (about 1 cup)
- 1/4 cup white wine vinegar, plus more to taste
- 2 teaspoons honey or sugar, plus more to taste
- 2 garlic cloves, very finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh thyme
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- In a saucepan, heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes, peppers, 1/4 cup of vinegar, 2 teaspoons of honey, garlic, thyme, and salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a simmer and cook, uncovered, until the mixture is very thick, about 15 minutes, stirring frequently so the ketchup does not scorch.
- Transfer the mixture to a blender or food processor and purée until smooth. Taste for seasoning and adjust with salt, pepper, honey, and vinegar as needed. The ketchup should have a good balance of sweet and tart. Pour the ketchup into a container and stir in the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil. Cover and set aside at room temperature until needed. The ketchup keeps, refrigerated, for up to a week. It may also be frozen for up to 4 months
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