In today's New York Times Julia Moskin writes how chefs in New York and other cities have discovered the diversity of ketchups our 19th-century cooks made with abandon. As I read through early American cookbooks it almost seems as though the attitude was "when it stops growing, pickle it or make it into ketchup." I have many favorite recipes including Strawberry Pickles Cucumber Vinegar, Tomato "Figs" and this one for Cucumber Ketchup adapted from 1875 Prairie Farmer magazine.
You can find another delicious recipe from the Little House on the Prairie era here in the blog
The date on the post is January 16, 2011 and here's a bitly (http://bit.ly/1AF9kho)
It is easy to make and keeps well in the refrigerator for a couple of weeks. Great on ham or chicken sandwiches and it adds a fresh "bite" along side salmon or even lamb or pork.
3 large cucumbers, peeled, seeded, and grated
1 small to medium onion, peeled and minced
1 tablespoon salt
2 1/2 teaspoons ground black pepper
1 1/2 cups white vinegar
Combine the cucumber and onion with the salt in a cheesecloth-lined colander and let stand over a deep bowl for one hour. Then pour off the drained juices and gently squeeze the vegetable mixture. IF you wish to reduce the salt content of the finished ketchup, you may rinse the vegetables in water and squeeze it dry.
Mix the vegetables iwth the pepper and vinegar in a heavy stockpot. Cook gently until the mixture is hot and has turned somewhat pale or yellow, about 10 minutes. Be sure the onions and cucumbers are fully cooked and tender. Cool and then carefully process in a food processor or blender until smooth. (Our great-great-great grandmothers would have forced them through a sieve) Return to the stockpot and simmer until thick, stirring to prevent sticking and burning as it reduces and thickens. Pour into clean jars and store in the refrigerator, Or you may process in sterilized jars according to USDA rules.