When the entertaining (read: feasting) season is in full swing, I like having standbys in the fridge, something that can take something ordinary to the next level. They don’t have to be overly fancy or luxurious. The only criteria is that these standbys are flavour-packed and perhaps bring an unexpected twist, to shake things up a bit. I’m not clear on what the proper name of this tomato dish is. I call it a relish, but it could also be more of a chutney or jam (depending on how long it is stewed for).
I first made this when I craved a tart, sweet and chunky topping to accompany our weekly sliders. It cut through the greasiness of the beef patties perfectly, and we (two adults and two kids) nearly polished off the whole lot of relish in one sitting. My 2-year old daughter even demanded to have it neat (“only tomato”, she said)! But I placated her by topping an omelette with it instead, and she enjoyed every bite. After that meal, I immediately made a second batch. This relish is a molten cheese sandwich’s soulmate. It would also serve as a delicious filling for a savoury tomato galette, topped with soft chèvre. Best of all, I envision it being very yummy with crunchy lettuce and leftover Thanksgiving turkey, between warm slices of toasted bread.
1 tbsp olive oil
1 large red onion, roughly chopped
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 red chili, deseeded and chopped finely (optional)
500g tomatoes (I used a mixture of cherry tomatoes and big red juicy tomatoes), half the cherry tomatoes and dice bigger tomatoes into 1-cm pieces
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp white vinegar
2 tbsp brown sugar (or more, depending on sweetness of tomatoes)
¼ tsp sea salt
In a large pan, heat olive oil and fry chopped onion for 2-min, until softened.
Add minced garlic and cook for a further minute. You can also add the chili at this point, if using.
Tip in chopped tomatoes, and move them around to deglaze the pan (to get all that sticky onion-y goodness off the bottom of the pan).
Add vinegars, brown sugar and salt. Bring up to a boil.
Simmer for 15-min uncovered, over a medium flame. Give it a stir every few minutes, until thickened and most of the liquid has evaporated. The relish should remain quite loose. I like it to still taste fresh and some of the tomatoes to hold their shape, but if you prefer it jammier, simmer on low, for a further 10-min.
Cool down completely and keep in a sterilised jar in the fridge for up to two weeks.