AUTHOR: Julia TITLE: Garden Burgers DATE: 10/16/2009 11:42:00 AM ----- BODY:
I grocery shop at least 4 times a week; a pound of coffee here, a quart of milk there. Given that the Whole Foods is only 2 blocks from my house, I never plan my meals and provisions too far in advance. It’s much easier to shop one meal at a time because I know exactly what I need. Better still, I waste much less food.

By now, most of the Whole Foods staff knows me by face, if not by name. And they must think I have the most miserable diet. Aside from a bit of fruit and a random vegetable or two, my shopping cart is mostly filled with meats and starches. Why buy vegetables when I have a garden brimming with kale, lettuce, leeks, Brussels sprouts and celery?

Yesterday, I made garden burgers. No, not vegetarian patties. But meat patties topped with condiments from the garden. I purchased the ground meat at Whole Foods, and topped it with scallions (instead of onions), arugula in place of lettuce, and ketchup I made last month from the bumper crop of tomatoes. Since I don’t grow potatoes for French fries or cabbage for cole slaw, I just sautéed some kale as a side to the burger.

Total Cost: Meat: $2.25, Bun: .25, Cheese Slice: $.25
Taste: Priceless.

Homemade Ketchup
4 cups diced tomatoes or 1 (28-to 32-ounces) can whole tomatoes in juice
1 tbs. plain oil
1 medium onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, chopped
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
Pinch cayenne
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup cider vinegar
1 tsp. salt

Purée tomatoes with juice in a blender until smooth.

Heat a stainless steel sauce pot (do not use aluminum because of the high acidity), over medium heat. Add oil, onions and garlic. Stir occassionaly, and cook for about 10 minutes, or until soft and lightly gold. Add spices and cook for one minute just to help them release their fragrance. Add the remaining ingredients. Turn heat to low and simmer for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the ketchup is very thick. Let chill.

Purée ketchup in blender until smooth. Will keep for several months in the refrigerator.

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----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Blogger T.W. Barritt at Culinary Types DATE:10/17/2009 08:06:00 AM I will have to try the homemade ketchup - that's so easy, and I'll bet the flavor is excellent! ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Blogger Cinnamon-Girl Reeni♥ DATE:10/17/2009 10:16:00 AM I am so impressed that you made your own ketchup! I bet it's delicious! ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous noble pig DATE:10/17/2009 10:38:00 AM I have always wanted to make my own, I'll keep tis recipe. ----- --------