Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Zippy Beet Catsup

This sweet, spicy and tangy dip tastes deceivingly like ketchup - but surprise! There are zero tomato products involved.

Zippy Beet Catsup

Let's face it - kids (and big kids) love ketchup. Even at my house - where every resident is over 25 - we have 3 bottles of it in the fridge. I use "my" low-sodium variety (which I added Louisiana hot sauce to, because) exclusively on sweet potato, butternut squash and skin-on Russett oven fries, while my often-visiting stepbrother piles his sriracha-laced variety on hamburgers. Then there's my sister, who as I've mentioned before is a bona fide ketchup addict who puts it on everything from steak (yes, even filet mignon) to fries to pasta (but not mac n' cheese... we both agree that's just wrong).

One thing kids are not generally fond of in their natural state is beets. Whether it's their garishly red colour, the slight earthiness or the fact that the thought of the root vegetable brings up memories of old ladies and sickly-sweet Harvard sauce, beets are a hard sell. I speak from experience - until I began growing my own heirlooms a few years ago, the only way you'd find me enjoying beets was in a chocolate cake. I still prefer raw, spiralized or shredded beets to roasted day to day, but I do have to admit their versatility is growing on me - especially when it comes to making condiments.

When I saw the original recipe for "beet ketchup" on Knead to Cook, I was skeptical - no way could this tomato-free spread taste like the fire-engine-red squeeze bottle stuff. You know what - I was right. It's not your commercial, smooth, hyper-sweetened tomato ketchup. It's richer, more deeply flavoured, and more complex. However, it still evokes that delicate sweet-tart balance we know and love, with a hint of spice for interest. Think of it as grown-up ketchup, or fancy "catsup" that would be at home on a dinner-party spread (or really good meatloaf!). It definitely felt at home on Wednesday night steak fries too.

My only regret? Not making more - this batch used up the last of the garden's haul from 2017. Only 10 months or so until next harvest!

Zippy Beet Catsup
Adapted from Knead to Cook
Makes ~2 cups, 16 (2 tbsp) servings
4 medium to large red beets, roasted, peeled and diced
1 head roasted garlic (~15 cloves)
¾ cup apple cider vinegar or champagne vinegar
3 fresh Thai chilies, minced
1⁄3 cup coconut sugar
1⁄2 small yellow onion, diced
1⁄2 tsp Himalayan salt (or smoked salt for extra flavour)
1 tsp smoked paprika
1⁄4 tsp ground coriander
1⁄4 tsp ground cloves
  1. Place all the ingredients into a heavy saucepan over medium heat and bring to a simmer.
  2. Loosely cover and simmer for 30-35 minutes, until fragrant and thickened.
  3. Puree with an immersion blender or small stand blender until smooth.
  4. Store in the fridge for up to 30 days or can 20 minutes in a waterbath
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 33.9
Total Fat: 0.1 g
Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
Sodium: 28.2 mg
Total Carbs: 8.1 g
Dietary Fiber: 1.1 g
Protein: 0.8 g