Smoked tomato relish

Smoked tomato relish

Dig In!
560 g
Mark Roper

This is really a jazzed-up tomato relish, but the smokiness adds such a depth of flavour. You can use it wherever you’d use normal tomato sauce. You could have it on toast with cheese, use it as a base for pizzas, serve it with barbecued meats, use it as the base of a curry or use it in sandwiches. In this recipe you smoke the tomatoes yourself, but it’s not hard. If you love a smoky flavour, this relish is for you!


Quantity Ingredient
1kg ripe roma tomatoes
40g smoking sawdust or fine wood chips for smoking
2 red onions, thinly sliced
60ml olive oil
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 teaspoon dried chilli flakes
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
1 tablespoon tomato paste
115g firmly packed brown sugar
125ml red wine vinegar


  1. Using a small knife, cut a shallow cross in the bottom of each tomato. Put the tomatoes in a large bowl and cover with boiling water. Leave for 30 seconds then transfer the tomatoes straight into iced water. Peel the tomatoes and set aside.
  2. Place foil on the bottom of a large wok. Add the smoking sawdust or woodchips and set the wok over high heat, covered. When starting to smoke, add the tomatoes in a steamer basket on a wire rack set 4–5 cm above the smoking mixture, reduce the heat to low, and smoke for 6–8 minutes. Remove and set aside to cool.
  3. While the tomatoes are cooling down, place a large saucepan over medium heat. Cook the onions in the olive oil for 6–8 minutes until soft but not coloured. Add the garlic, chilli flakes and coriander seeds and cook for a further minute. Add the tomato paste and stir over medium heat for 2 minutes. Add the sugar and vinegar.
  4. Cut the cooled tomatoes into quarters, remove the inner membranes and seeds and chop the tomatoes into small chunks. Discard the seeds and membranes. Add the tomatoes to the saucepan and give the mixture a good stir. Bring the mixture to the boil then reduce the heat to medium–low. Cook for 1 hour, stirring occasionally or until thick and gloopy. Taste and adjust the seasoning, then scoop into a sterilised sealable jar and store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
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