Canning and Preserving Herbs: Mushroom Ketchup

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<em>Makes 4 to 5 half-pints</em>
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This spicy condiment and seasoning harks back to the seventeenth century, when the British adapted the Chinese ketsiap, Malaysian kechap, and Indonesian ketjap to local ingredients.</p>
<p>• 3 pounds mushrooms, cleaned and thinly sliced<br />
• 2 tablespoons pickling salt<br />
• 1 cup chopped onion<br />
• 1 small hot red pepper, cored, seeded, and chopped<br />
• 2 cloves garlic, minced<br />
• 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves<br />
• 1 tablespoon fresh parsley leaves<br />
• 1 tablespoon fresh marjoram leaves<br />
• 1/2 teaspooon ground allspice<br />
• 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger<br />
• 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves<br />
• 1 cup sherry vinegar, preferably flavored with a mixture of herbs<br />
• 1/4 cup honey<br />
• 1 bay leaf</p>
<p>1. In a large nonreactive bowl, thoroughly mix the mushrooms and salt. Cover and let the mixture stand at room temperature for 24 hours, stirring occasionally. Puree the mushrooms in a blender, food processor, or food mill, then pour into a large, heavy nonreactive kettle.</p>
<p>2. Combine the remaining ingredients, except the bay leaf, in a blender and process until smooth. Stir into the pureed mushrooms, mixing well. Add the bay leaf. Over medium-high heat, bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, uncovered, stirring frequently, for 1 to 2 hours, or until the ketchup is very thick. Remove the bay leaf.</p>
<p>3. Prepare the jars, lids, and boiling-water bath. Fill the jars with the hot, thickened mushroom mixture, leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Wipe the rims with a clean towel and attach the lids securely.</p>
<p>4. Place the jars in the boiling-water bath, and when the water returns to a boil, process for 15 minutes. Remove the jars, cool, label, and store.</p>
<p>(Adapted from <em>Herbal Vinegar</em>.)</p>
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<em>Maggie Oster writes extensively about herbs, food, gardening, cooking, landscape design, flowers, and crafts. Her books include</em> Recipes from an American Herb Garden <em>(New York: Macmillan, 1993) and</em> Herbal Vinegar <em>(Pownal, Vermont: Storey Communications, 1994). When she’s not on the road, she’s in her garden or kitchen in Indiana or Kentucky.</em>
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<strong>Canning and Preserving Herbs: 13 Recipes</strong>

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