Jamie Oliver has had a significant impact on my culinary upbringing, so to speak. I am the proud owner of a handful of his cookbooks and since the early 2000’s I’ve watched just about every episode of the Naked Chef, Jamie’s Kitchen, Jamie at Home and Jamie’s 30 Minute Meals. I wasn’t just drawn to Jamie for his culinary skills, accent, or charm, rather, he has always stood out to me as a type of activist-chef. For me, Jamie’s books and television programs have always had an educational undertone. He is a chef who, from the outset, has strived to educate people about healthy food choices and has initiated world-wide campaigns to that effect. So, when Dorothy Pang, an old friend who also happens to be a Food Revolution Toronto Ambassador reached out to ask whether I would be interested in participating in a Food Revolution Vegetarian Culinary Competition, I was game!
May 15th, 2015 marks the fourth annual Food Revolution Day, which is a united effort across all of Jamie’s foundation projects worldwide. With an aim to combat diet-related diseases, Jamie’s Revolution works towards raising awareness about the importance of good food and better food education for everyone by focusing on three simple actions – cook it, share it, live it. Food Revolution Day is a chance for people to come together within their homes, schools, workplaces and communities to cook and share their kitchen skills, food knowledge and resources.
A large part of Jamie's campaign concerns the provision of quality food education in an effort to reverse the global rise of diabetes and diet related disease. Jamie Oliver is a strong proponent of educating children about food, where it comes from and how it affects their bodies. To that effect he has created a global campaign fighting to put compulsory practical food education on the school curriculum. In Jamie’s words: “I believe that it is a chid’s human right to be taught how to grow and cook fresh nutritious food at school.” To learn more about Jamie’s campaign in support of food education and to sign his petition please visit change.org.
In preparation for the 2015 Food Revolution Day ambassadors spanning across the globe are hosting events to help raise awareness about the initiative. Here in Toronto, there are a number of events lined up including cooking demonstrations, classes, and the the Food Revolution Vegetarian Culinary Competition which I will be competing in. The competition is set for this Saturday, April 25, 2015. For the latest news on upcoming Toronto events check out the Food Revolution Toronto Facebook Page here.
To celebrate Food Revolution Day, Food Revolution Toronto has graciously offered to have me share Jamie Oliver’s recipe for Homemade Tomato Ketchup for all of my readers. It is a great honour for me to be sharing a recipe from a chef that I consider to be one of the greats. As I am gearing up to start my organic home garden, I plan on planting a variety of tomato plants this season - many of which I have started indoors as seedlings. This super easy recipe for Homemade Tomato Ketchup is a wonderful staple to have on hand, especially if you have an abundance of tomatoes, as I know I will have during the upcoming growing season.
For more information on the Food Revolution movement please visit the Food Revolution Day website.
Jamie Oliver’s Homemade Tomato Ketchup
With loads of veggies and a little kick.
Makes about 500 ml
Prep Time: 1h 05m
“Bizarrely enough for a chef, I really do take my hat off to Heinz, who have become the global brand of quality in the ketchup world. It’s such an everyday cupboard product that you’ve probably never thought to make your own. But if you’re growing tomatoes in the garden, or you catch sight of some really beautiful ones at the market in summer, just think of how much of a treat it would be to offer your family or guests homemade ketchup. It’s great fun to make. You can even make different colours of ketchup using just yellow, orange or green tomatoes - simply exchange the cherry and tinned tomatoes for the same amount of your chosen coloured ones.”
1 large red onion, peeled and roughly chopped
1/2 bulb fennel, trimmed and roughly chopped
1 stick celery, trimmed and roughly chopped
1 thumb-sized piece fresh ginger, peeled and sliced
1/2 fresh red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
1 bunch fresh basil, leaves picked, stalks chopped
1 tbsp coriander seeds
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 kg (2.2 lbs) yellow, orange or green tomatoes, chopped, or 500g cherry or plum tomatoes, halved plus 500g tinned plumb tomatoes
200 ml red wine vinegar
70 g soft brown sugar
(Use organic ingredients)
Place all of the vegetables in a large heavy-bottomed saucepan with a big place of olive oil and the ginger, garlic, chilli, basil stalks, coriander seeds and cloves. Season with the pepper and a good pic of salt.
Cook gently over a low heat for 10 to 15 minutes until softened, stirring every so often. Add all of the tomatoes and 350ml of cold water. Bring to the boil and simmer gently until the sauce reduces by half.
Add the basil leaves, then whiz the sauce in a food processor or with a hand blender and push it though a sieve twice, to make it smooth and shiny. Put the sauce into a clean pan and add the vinegar and the sugar. Place the sauce on the heat and simmer until it reduces and thickens to the consistency of tomato ketchup. At this point, correct the seasoning to taste.
Spoon the ketchup through a sterilized funnel into sterilized bottles, then seal tightly and place in a cook dark place or the fridge until needed - it should keep for six months.
*Editor's Note: I recommend using an oil that is best for cooking at high temperatures like organic unrefined, virgin coconut oil, or, an oil labeled for cooking and frying like organic Oleic Sunflower Oil by Emile Noël.
Recipe by Jamie Oliver, reprinted with permission from the Food Revolution Team. The original recipe can be found here.