Category Archives: tomato

Homemade ketchup

Though they‘re available all year round, tomatoes are at their best in August. Check out how we tune up our favorite tomato application: Tomato Ketchup! In this article we’ll show you how to open doors to tons of new surprising ketchup recipes your guests will surely admire you for.

Making your own tomato ketchup is not that difficult at all. It’s a matter of blending a tomato sauce with an aigre-doux (a classic sweet and sour sauce), sugar and spices. The bonus you get by doing it yourself is you can add your own personal touches; herbs, spices, or even other vegetables or fruits will make your home made ketchup stand out from the retail crowd.

Here is our base recipe:

For the tomato sauce:

  • 5 kg tomato trimmings (especially seeds) or 2.7 kg trimming + 2.5 kg tomatoes
  • 250 g sweet onion
  • 15 g garlic
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 g thyme
  • 10 crushed white peppercorns
  • 2 g salt

Mix all ingredients and bring to a boil. Allow to simmer for approximately 1hour. Blend and pass through a sieve.

For the aigre-doux:

Caramelize 50 g of castor sugar.
Deglaze with 100g of sherry vinegar

For the ketchup:

  • 50g sugar
  • A pinch of cayenne pepper
  • A pinch of paprika
  • A pinch of ground ginger
  • All of the tomato sauce
  • All of the aigre-doux

Mix all of the ingredients. Reduce to about 900 g. Blend and thickening with a starch thickener.

Allow the ketchup to rest for 1 night.


There are many customization opportunities. Add extra herbs after the thickening step in order to preserve their freshness, spices or condiments could also be added during this step, but can also be applied when mixing the tomato sauce and aigre-doux.  Alternatively they can be used to initially flavor the tomato sauce. Extra fruits and vegetables may be added during the mixing step, partially replacing the tomato sauce. Hard vegetables or fruits need to be cooked before application, e.g. cooked pumpkin puree. In fact vegetable purees can completely replace the tomato sauce. Check out our pumpkin ketchup recipe.

When it comes to selecting your personalizing ingredients, make sure to use the Foodpairing Explorer for inspiration. Here is the Foodpairing Tree of tomatoes as a starting point.

Here are some suggestions:

  • A classic curry ketchup: Just add some curry powder to taste.
  • Tomatoes and strawberry harmonize perfectly with each other. Blend in some strawberries after thickening or add some strawberry jam. Other ideas are raspberries or banana.
  • An Oriental variation: Add lemongrass, ginger and Szechuan pepper when preparing the tomato sauce. Bring to taste with soy sauce or miso
  • An African variation: cinnamon, mace and coriander
  • Try different vinegars: balsamic or blueberry vinegar or even acidic fruit juices like pineapple, passion fruit, orange etc.
  • Smoke a part of the tomatoes on the BBQ or use some smoked bacon when preparing the tomato sauce.
  • Add spiciness: red pepper or chipotle
  • Replace tomato with other vegetables such as carrot, pumpkin, …
  • Use another type of sweetener:  lavender honey combine well with tomato
  • Add a spirit during the mixing step.


The Barbecue season is open again. Let’s see how Foodpairing can spice up your bruschettas, an excellent opener for any bbq menu.

A traditional bruschetta is easily made. Slice some baguette, grill it, add some tomato basil and the optional mozzarella and you’re done.

But what about when you’re searching for some new combos to put on the toast? Foodpairing offers tons of inspiration for these little appetizers. Just navigate to the Foodpairing Explorer and enter a starting ingredient. Next select matching ingredients and your done. You can start your foodpairing searches from pretty much anything that comes to mind. To keep it simple we selected the bread base as a starting point.

We ended up with following combo:

Cook the peas and blend them to obtain a smooth pea puree. Perfectionists can pass the puree through a sieve for extra smoothness. Put the puree on a toasted slice of baguette. Finish the bruschetta with dried ham, olive oil and some mint sprigs for freshness.

Next recipe follows the same blue print, but with different ingredients (no need to change a winning game). Mix some pickled artichokes. Put the puree on a toast; garnish with a few pieces of pickled artichokes and a few dots of goat cheese (eg Chavroux).

If carefully dosed, a bruschetta can benefit from some sweetness. In the following recipe we mixed cream cheese with chopped spring onions and a little mango chutney. The whole was finished with some extra mango chutney and some lemon verbena.

Savory smoothie recipes

Fruits are the traditional first choice for smoothies, but let’s take a look beyond convention and start experimenting with the veggies and herbs in savory smoothie recipes

When investigating the Foodpairing® tree of milk and turning our heads towards the vegetable category, you’ll spot cucumber –use the category filter in the listview to get a list of best matching vegetables. Cucumber consists of more than 90% of water, so instead of adding crushed ice to get the smoothie cold, just refrigerate the blended cucumber before use. Next we add olive oil for the body, cilantro and chives for some kick and sherry vinegar to brighten the flavours. All ingredients were found with the help of the Foodpairing® Explorer.


  • 335 g cucumber
  • 3 g of cilantro
  • 18 g chives
  • 175 g milk
  • 10 g sherry vinegar
  • 75 g olive oil
  • pepper and salt

Dice the cucumber. Chop the chives and cilantro. Blend all ingredients. Add the olive oil in a continuous trickle. Season to taste, pass through a fine mesh and refrigerate.

Serve with garnishes like shrimp or mussels.

Next recipe was also made staring from the Foodpairing tree of milk, it’s a savory smoothie with tomato and basil:


  • 255 g canned tomatoes*
  • 3 g basil
  • 100 g milk
  • 20 g mozzarella water
  • 25 g mozzarella
  • pepper and salt

Blend all ingredients. Season to taste, pass through a fine mesh and refrigerate.

* canned tomatoes give more taste to the smoothie than fresh one.

Furaneol is one of the molecules tomato and strawberry share. The same goes for raspberry and tomato, applying this neat little combo in a veggie smoothie is just magic. For the base we selected mozzarella but cottage cheese would also be great, added some fresh basil to give it a nice twist. When you get the proportions right one can enhance the fruitiness of tomato by adding strawberries or raspberries without losing the characteristic tomato flavor.


  • 255 g canned tomatoes
  • 3 g basil
  • 150 g milk
  • 40 g raspberries
  • 10 g ketchup
  • pepper and salt

Blend all ingredients. Season to taste, pass through a fine mesh and refrigerate.

Let’s talk milk. Milk is easy to infuse, this is because of its colloidal  (fat + water) properties. Infused milk allows for new aroma incorporation in a smoothie without using the actual flavoring ingredients; which could otherwise present textural, taste or other technical difficulties. Traditional examples are vanilla, cinnamon or anise infused milk. But please do go wild with the infusions, our favorites are shrimp, bacon, chicken skin and smoke infused milk. In our previous article about smoothies there is a smoothie with oat infused milk. Here is a more challenging recipe with bacon flavored milk.


Bacon flavoured milk

  • 5 dl milk
  • 150 g smoked bacon

Bring the milk to the boil. Dice the smoked bacon and add to the hot milk. Cover with plastic clingfilm. Let infuse for at least 1 hour. Sieve



  • 150 g bacon flavoured milk
  • 100 g cooked peas
  • 1 g mint
  • pepper and salt

Blend all ingredients. Season to taste, pass through a fine mesh and refrigerate.


Instead of using plain olive oil in the cucumber smoothie, we can create more depth by using an infused oil. Here’s an example with red bell pepper and tomato.



Chorizo oil

  • 1 garlic clove
  • 40 g chopped onion
  • 100 g diced chorizo
  • 200 g olive oil

Fry the garlic with the onion and chorizo in some oil. Add the remaining amount of oil. Let simmer for 5′ minutes. Cover with plastic clingpaper and let infuse for at least 1 hour. Sieve.



  • 100 g red bell pepper
  • 140 g milk
  • 20 g canned tomato
  • 5 g chorizo oil
  • pepper and salt

Blend all ingredients. Season to taste, pass through a fine mesh and refrigerate.

Creativity for new hotdog recipes

Foodpairing(R) is not only applied in top restaurants, our creativity tool can also be used to create new recipes for e.g. hotdog.

We have members applying Foodpairing(R) in all sorts of places. In Belgium we have e.g. places that sell french fries (called ‘frietkot’) that apply Foodpairing(R) to increase the potato experience. For a fair we created new Foodpairing(R) combinations based on classic hamburgers and hotdog.

As an example we made a variation on a hotdog, starting from chicken sausage.

If you check the Foodpairing(R) tree of chicken, you can find combinations like pumpkin, apple,…

Hotdog: Chicken – Pumpkin-apple ketchup – tomato confit


335 g pumpkin (peeled)
145g Granny Smith
80 g onion
5 g garlic
thyme and bayleaf
200 g water
25 g sugar
15 g aigre-doux (50 g of caramelized sugar quenched with 10 g of white wine vinegar)
1 g cornstarch
20 g water
curry powder
8 cherry tomatoes
olive oil
some sprigs of thyme
4 chicken sausages
4 hot dog buns
salt and pepper

Dice the pumpkin, Granny Smith, onion and garlic. Braise in olive oil with thyme and bay leaf. Quench with water and cook until tender. Blend when the water is almost completely evaporated.

Add sugar, aigre-doux and curry powder. Bring back to a boil and add the cornstarch water mixture while stirring. Allow to boil, then cool down and season to taste with curry powder, salt, pepper and other spices.

Halve the cherry tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper, cover with sprigs of thyme and drizzle with olive oil. Put in a preheated oven of 180 °C.

Fry the chicken sausages.

The other recipes for hamburgers you can find here


Gazpacho Foodpairing variations

Gazpacho is an ideal dish to apply Foodpairing on. It is very easy to add little twists to this classic combination.
Starting from the Foodpairing tree from tomato, you see the classical ingredients for gazpacho like tomato, bell pepper, cucumber, olive oil,… but you can also see some new variations like the watermelon. Click on the image and the (+) to see more combinations(treehugger) , blue crab (Food&wine), raspberry (example recipe), coffee, lemon grass,…

source picture: treehugger


This was a quote we got from Hayden Lambert on Foodpairing :

Bernard, I love the site and I know the boys here at the merchant hotel use it often in conjunction with the flavour bible. It allows me to combine flavours that as a bartender I had no idea would work well together!
Here is a drink I created and helped me win the 42below cocktail world cup london final!”
Catch 42 #2
50mls 42Below pure vodka
30mls Clear Tomato juice (plum tomato’s)
17.5mls Clear Passion fruit puree
15mls clear lime juice
10mls Monin sugar syrup
1small pinch of salt
Cherry tomato garnish
Vodka links to passion fruit and tomato to passion fruit. For Bloody Mary the spices make the link. Go to Foodpairing trees to see the dynamic Foodpairing tree of Grey Goose Vodka.


One of the upcoming pastry chefs in Belgium is Jean-Yves Wilmot of the pastry shop Wilmot.We did a foodpairing cookingsession in the kitchens of Obumex (a belgian top quality kitchen producer). This time in Brussels.
2 foodpairings we are going to show; a combination of a french baguette with chocolate mayonnaise, cured ham, caramelised red cabbage and pop-corn. And also a foodpairing around carrot, tomato, chocolate and raspberry. Enjoy. Video is in French.


Together with Roger Vandamme of the restaurant Het gebaar in Antwerp,we did a foodpairing session in the kitchens of Obumex (a belgian top quality kitchen producer).
3 foodpairings we are going to show; one around the combination of tomato and mozzarella. One around beetroot, shizo, chorizo and oyster leave. And the last one around potato with truffle. The recipes are a combination of foodpairing with some molecular gastronomy techniques like spherification, use of the siphon,…
This is one of the 3 movies we started to make with belgian chefs around foodpairing. So more will follow. This one is in Dutch.