If tomatoes are the ideal summertime fruit, then why do we insist on always making the same caprese salad? Maybe it's time to stop boring your dinner guests. Almost anything can, and should, be done to summer tomatoes (except refrigerating them, which will only lend a metallic taste to the fruit's otherwise sweetly acidic flesh). Each of the techniques described here has been
simplified to its fundamental steps – you won't find exact measurements, and only a few request a specific variety of tomato – so feel free to experiment. One tip: Always use salt. It's a surefire way to enhance a tomato's already remarkable flavor.
Make your own ketchup. Chop onion, fennel, and celery, and sauté. Add salt, pepper, olive oil, ginger, garlic, cloves, basil, coriander seeds, and red chiles. Add chopped tomatoes (for an unconventional color, use yellow, orange, or green ones) and some water. Simmer until the sauce is reduced by half. Puree in a blender. Add vinegar and sugar. Simmer until the right consistency.
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