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Foodday

 

Homemade Vegetable Spreads...
Fresh From The Backyard Garden

 

As you browse through seed and garden catalogues and choose the vegetables to plant this year, give thought to how you'll use up the bumper crop of tomatoes, onions, cucumbers or peppers. It's never too early to start collecting recipes, because once things are ready for picking, you'll need to move quickly to make the most of your home-grown harvest.

Many gardeners know the satisfaction that comes from transforming their homegrown fruits into homemade jams. The same satisfaction comes from creating jars of spreads from homegrowm vegetables. Vegetable spreads are made with the same techniques as traditional jams, yet deliver a less sweet, more savory taste.

Here are two new recipes to clip and keep from the expert test kitchens at Sure-Jell fruit pectin. These recipes allow you to enjoy the taste of the garden long after the harvest is over. They are all superb on bread, toast, bagels or muffins, and are also delicious toppings for sandwiches, providing an extraordinary taste contrast with meats and cheeses.

Spiced tomato spread teams the juicy goodness of fully ripe beefsteak, Big Boy or other tomato favorites with the bite of lemon, cinnamon, allspice and cloves in a deliciously pleasing sweet and sour spread.

If peppers are your preference, whether Capsicum annum (sweet table) or Capsicum frutescens (seasoning varieties), you will find that lotsa peppers relish makes the most of both. Red and green sweet peppers and large jalapeño peppers are chopped and blended in a sweet vinegar jelly that lets a real pepper taste shine through. Jars of this spicy favorite make perfect holiday gifts so be sure to make a few extras while the peppers are fresh.

So perhaps you should plant a little more this year to make sure you have enough garden produce for these delicious vegetable preserves.

 

Spiced Tomato Spread

Spread
  • 3 cups prepared tomatoes (about 2-1/4 pounds fully ripe tomatoes)
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons grated lemon peel
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice*
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves*
  • 4-1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 box Sure-Jell fruit pectin
  • 1/2 teaspoon butter or margarine

*Or use 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce.

Boil jars on rack in large pot filled with water 10 minutes. Place flat lids in saucepan with water. Bring to boil. Remove from heat. Let stand in hot water until ready to fill. Drain well before filling.

Peel and chop tomatoes. Place in saucepan. Bring to boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Measure 3 cups into 6- or 8-quart saucepot. Stir in lemon peel and juice and spices.

Measure sugar into separate bowl. (Scrape excess sugar from cup with spatula to level for exact measure.) Stir fruit pectin into tomatoes in saucepot. Add butter. Bring to full rolling boil on high heat, stirring constantly. Quickly stir in all sugar. Return to full rolling boil and boil exactly 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Skim off any foam with metal spoon.

Ladle quickly into prepared jars, filling to within 1/8 inch of tops. Wipe jar rims and threads. Cover with two-piece lids. Screw bands tightly. *Invert jars 5 minutes, then turn upright. After jars are cool, check seals.

*Or follow water bath method recommended by USDA.

Makes about 5-1/2 cups or about 6 (1-cup) jars.

Generic Term: fruit pectin for homemade jams and jellies

Sure-Jell is a registered trademark of Kraft Foods, Inc.

 

Lotsa Peppers Relish

  • 4 cups prepared peppers (3 medium red peppers, 2 medium green peppers and
  • 10 large jalapeño peppers)
  • 1 cup cider vinegar
  • 5 cups sugar
  • 1 box Sure-Jell fruit pectin
  • 1/2 teaspoon butter or margarine

Boil jars on rack in large pot filled with water 10 minutes. Place flat lids in saucepan with water. Bring to boil. Remove from heat. Let stand in hot water until ready to fill. Drain well before filling.

Stem and halve all peppers; discard seeds. Finely chop peppers. Measure 4 cups into 6- or 8-quart saucepot. Stir in vinegar.

Measure sugar into separate bowl. (Scrape excess sugar from cup with spatula to level for exact measure.) Stir fruit pectin into peppers in saucepot. Add butter. Bring to full rolling boil on high heat, stirring constantly. Quickly stir in all sugar. Return to full rolling boil and boil exactly 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Skim off any foam with metal spoon.

Ladle quickly into prepared jars, filling to within 1/8 inch of tops. Wipe jar rims and threads. Cover with two-piece lids. Screw bands tightly. *Invert jars 5 minutes, then turn upright. Cool 1 to 1-1/2 hours, then shake jars gently to distribute peppers evenly throughout relish. After jars are cooled completely, check seals.

*Or follow water bath method recommended by USDA.

Makes 6 cups or 6 (1-cup) jars.

Generic Term: fruit pectin for homemade jams and jellies

Sure-Jell is a registered trademark of Kraft Foods, Inc.

This page originally published as a FoodDay article in 1997.

Copyright © 2007, Forkmedia LLC. All rights reserved.

 
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This page modified January 2007


 

 
 

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