Once upon a time, tomatoes were thought to be poisonous, and they were only planted, grown and admired as ornamentals. One brave soul set out to prove the old wives wrong by consuming a basket of them in the public square. That man lived to dine another day.

Despite the public exoneration, tomatoes were not immediately trusted. At first, they were highly processed — heated, pureed and vinegar-ed to become ketchup. Yes, that’s right. Ketchup has been enhancing roasted potatoes much longer than plain old Beefsteak.
And if your forefathers can make ketchup, there’s really nothing to it. The recipe below is light on ingredients and ends with a smoky flavor that’s perfect for meatloaf and hamburgers.

Try it and bust a few wives tales of your own. And more recipes like this in the Naturally emagazine.

Learn more about growing basil.


  • 8 to 10 roma tomatoes
  • 1/4 large onion
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon liquid smoke


  1. Combine tomatoes and onion in blender.
  2. Pour into saucepan, simmer on medium-low heat until reduced by ¾ (about 3 hours).
  3. Finish with the sugar, vinegar and liquid smoke.
  4. Cool and serve.