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Condiment Recipes From the Garden

Condiment recipes: How to make condiments from garden plants, including recipes for ketchup, mustard, salsa, pesto and horseradish.

| July/August 1988

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    Homemade ketchup has two virtues: It uses up a lot of surplus tomatoes (a halfbushel cooks down to less than four quarts of sauce) and, more importantly, it offers a rich, sharp, alive flavor that's unknown in store-bought ketchup.

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Harvest garden vegetables that can be made into these delicious condiment recipes for your table. 

Condiment Recipes From the Garden

If Erik has his way, his "Erik's All-Purpose Wonder Sauce Delight" will one day tease the tongue of every U.S. diner, eventually replacing ketchup in the hearts of Americans. At this stage, however, Sauce Delight is still an ever-varying, liquid-fire concoction that, according to its creator, will "cure warts, impress girls and turn scrambled eggs a delectable shade !'brown."

Erik, in case you're wondering, is that 10-year-old son of mine who raids garden plots and spice shelves (instead of cookie jars) in his ongoing efforts to create his own line of kitchen condiments. His results to date, however, have been eye-watering formulations that only a half-starved dragon could love. Chancing all recipes to memory and bravely swallowing all failures with only a wince, Erik concedes that it may be a while before he conjures up just the right mix.

But until the ultimate version of Sauce Delight arrives, the rest of us can practice a little magic of our own, because garden-fresh condiment recipes are easy to create: They'll perk up everyday menus and put to good use some of those armloads of tomatoes, baskets of peppers and sacks of basil, as well as the horseradish and mustard plants that grow quietly in the corner. Here are some recipes (several from some experienced kitchen wizards in our region) to get you off to a good start.


My friend Yung Li moved quickly from wok to wok, creating enticing dishes for her family restaurant, while I chatted and enjoyed the behind-the-scenes aromas. She tossed in some green onions here, some shrimp there, and a dollop of ketchup into two entrees. Ketchup? Too shocked to speak, I was absolutely appalled that she would stoop to using the all-American hamburger condiment in Oriental cuisine. I'm glad now that I kept quiet, because I've since learned that ketchup originated in the Far East and that the tomato version is only one of many varieties of this sauce, including mushroom, gooseberry and, the British favorite, walnut ketchup.

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