Top 5 – Sauces made with Fruits & Vegetables

A couple weeks ago I wrote a post on the best sauces to make with herbs.  This week I thought I’d return to the saucy theme, only this time it’s sauces made from either fruits or vegetables.   It is the AFL grand final this week after all and what else would you eat while watching the footy but a pie and sauce?  Which brings me to my very obvious and predictable number one:

Tomato Sauce (Ketchup).  On more than one occasion I’ve caught my two year old son drinking tomato sauce direct from the bottle.  He’s not particularly discerning, he drinks commercial sauce and home made sauce in equal quantities.  In his eyes, and those of much of the western (if not whole) world there’s something about the combination of tomatoes, spices, vinegar and sugar that is hugely irresistible.

 Chilli Sauce.  For me tomato vs chilli is a pretty close run thing.  I love chilli sauce.  I love sweet chilli sauce, I love the harsher and hotter varieties and I love Tabasco.  When I travelled in my early 20s I used to do it with a bottle of Tabasco sauce in my backpack and frankly there were more than a few places that I visited that I was hugely grateful to have it.  Ugali/fufu is really not that flavourful, or at least its not when its prepared in your average East African backpacker cafe….

Aioli Some of the best sauces in the world aren’t preserves.  Some are delicious unctuous concoctions that draw together the pungency of garlic with the delicious richness of mayonnaise.  Aioli might not be that good for you (unless of course you’re being chased by a swarm or two of vampires) but it sure tastes delicious.

Cucumber dipping sauce – I have tried the fishcakes in virtually every Thai restaurant I’ve ever eaten in, and I’ve tipped a good many of them in some cucumber dipping sauce.  Made with diced cucumber, sugar, vinegar, fish sauce, chilli, and peanuts as its base ingredients, cucumber dipping sauce is at once refreshing, moreish, warming, cooling and just plain delicious.

Jam Sauce – Not all sauces are savoury, some are sweet.  You’ve got chocolate sauce, custard and the very little known and under appreciated jam sauce.  Jam sauce is what I tend to make when I make jam, or rather when I try to make jam in about half the time it usually takes to make it.  Fortunately I actually really like runny jam and find it great to swirl through yoghurt, drizzle over pancakes, use to glaze tarts and drip onto toast.  All in all it does everything jam can do and a little bit more.

And that was my Top 5 sauces made from fruit or vegetables (but not herbs – for them go to my previous post).  What would make your list?

Speaking of lists Barbara Good should have another Top 5 for you over at The New Good Life.

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37 Responses to Top 5 – Sauces made with Fruits & Vegetables

  1. Louise says:

    Yum, this is a top Top 5. Love your choices, the one that is new to me is the cucumber dipping sauce – I have try it being a fan of the Thai fishcake. I particularly love aioli.

    If you can’t be in the Grand Final, second best is having on e of your own winning the Brownlow – and Timmy’s son. Congrats. Are you going for Hawthorn? That might be hard for an Essendon supporter? I am. I can’t go for Sydney even though I live there. I am a Victorian at heart.

  2. L says:

    Chilli sauces in a number of variations would probably make up all 5 of mine, but I love ketchup too. I particularly love the chilli sauce you get at yum cha, which actually has more sweet potato in it than chilli. I also like hummus (do nuts count?) and babaganoush.

    • Liz says:

      You’ve mentioned this yum cha sauce before but I’m not sure I know the one you mean – I am clearly going to have to seek it out as I love the idea of it.

  3. Daphne says:

    My cucumber dipping sauce is tzatziki, which is a Greek yogurt based sauce. The “jam sauce” to me is syrup. I intentionally made strawberry syrup this year. Yum. I think in the US barbeque sauce would come out very high on the list. I don’t know if other countries use it or not. And the largest amount of “sauce” I made this year was applesauce. All the Australians wanted to know how the heck I eat 20+ jars of it in a year as it isn’t in your normal repertoire. Apples are big in the US. We have a folk legend of Johnny Appleseed that went across the country planting apple seeds. (though in reality he was a nurseryman and sold trees). Part of the way you got land in the pioneer days was to plant it with fruit trees and maintain the trees on it (often apples). We even have a saying, “as American as apple pie”. So we love our apples and historically eat a lot of them. Applesauce can be eaten a lot of ways, as a side dish to pork or chicken dishes, as dessert, over gingerbread pancakes instead of syrup, or just with a spoon at anytime. I put them in pints and often serve it as a side dish with dinner. I pray that we don’t eat it all, but usually do. I like the leftovers to eat for a snack. American kids that take lunch to school often have fruit in their bag. Applesauce is common for that.

    • Liz says:

      I love tzatiki, I wasn’t sure if I could include it as its more of a dip, but then so is Aioli to a certain extent. in fact now that I think of it I’m not really sure where dips end and sauces start…I love all your tales of making applesauce and you’re absolutely right. I’ve never even tried it let alone eaten 20 plus jars of the stuff. I did grow up hearing about Johnny Appleseed though. Great story.

  4. My plum jam the year before last was a sauce too. The kids loved it on pancakes. I was so determined this year to make it thicken that i cooked it too long. It’s so thick it’s horrible. Can’t even spread it. I prefer the sauce.
    I haven’t made chilli sauce before but I do like it. If I get enough this year I might try it.

  5. I’m a new convert to sweet chilli dipping sauce.

  6. Pingback: Tuesday’s Top Five – Things I would grow in my dream vegetable garden | The New Good Life

  7. Barbara Good says:

    How about a plum sauce, Asian style. A friend of mine makes a great one and always gives me a few jars. I generally marinate chicken wings in the sauce and then slow cook them in the oven.

    Another one I love is an orange marmalade sauce that is absolutely delicious with roast meats (turkey and pork especially). I also make a similar orange marmalade and red wine sauce that I cook and glaze pork chops in. Once the meat is cooked I reduce the sauce to a glossy, thickish dark red sauce.

    Love your list, and of course dead horse would have to be number one in any house with small children.

  8. Wilderness says:

    Liz love your sauces. Not one for many sweet ones other than chocolate however. Aioli is great.

  9. Michelle says:

    One of my favorite sauces is similar to the cucumber sauce. Vietnamese nuoc cham is made with fish sauce, lime juice, chilis, chili paste, garlic, sugar, carrot shreds and water. It is addictive stuff.

  10. Leanne Cole says:

    I’ll have some of all of them Liz please. Haha, I wish I was that way inclined, to make sauce, I’ve never done it. I look at your posts and I feel a twinge of inspiration, but unfortunately it always leaves me.

    • Liz says:

      To be honest I haven’t amde any preserves in ages – I hope the more I write about it the more likely the inspiration will strike. Time is my enemby at the moment.

  11. Sarah says:

    Great choices for a top 5! I’ve also been known to pass off runny jam as a sauce – if you don’t tell them, who’s to know that wasn’t what you were planning to make all along?

  12. Rebecca says:

    Hi Liz,

    I been lurking around your wonderful blog for a while, but have never commented. I am in awe of the amazing variety of food you grow and the beautiful pictures you take of your harvest. I would love to see your garden as a whole, have you or would you consider posting photos of how your garden is set up/layed out? What do you plant in pots? Whats planted in beds? Sorry for all the questions but I’m very very new to the kitchen garden (this is my very first planting season) and I’m already running out of space in my garden beds. I too went a bit crazy with the seed sowing 🙂


    • Liz says:

      Thanks Beck, I will try and post some photos of the garden as a while – I tend to avoid it as it would =involve removing an amount of child strewn debris etc etc but as you’ve asked so nicely… Regarding what I plant in pots and whats in beds – it varies a bit from year to year. This year I am growing all my chillis and capsicums in pots. Many of my herbs are in pots including ginger and turmeric. I have potted blueberries (these are new and I’m anxiously awaiting fruit) and dwarf citrus. I also grow potatoes in pots. Every thing else is in beds. It is extremely easy to run out of space in my experience. Glad you’re starting to Kitchen garden though – i find it really rewarding.

  13. Balvinder says:

    Its been many years that i made tomato sauce. I used to do it when I was unmarried and we have wonderful homegrown tomatoes at my parents house. Your post is inspiring me to do some sauces this year. I think I should go for your chilli sauce.

  14. Bek says:

    Hmm, that cucumber dipping sauce sounds delicious! I also make a (very loosely) chinese style plum sauce – most useful in making sticky pork ribs or similar. But I’m hoping to have enough tomatoes this year for passata and tomato sauce.

    • Liz says:

      I made plum sauce once but then found I hardly ever used it which is more of a reflection of my lack of imagination at dinner time than anything else…

  15. Andrea says:

    Hi Liz, great list of sauses………I kind of like my jams and sauses on the runny side so they drip nicely over food. My number 1 would be spicy tomato sauce followed by any marmalade and mulberry jam. I love trying different recipes, today I have been preparing citrus ready to make rhubarb marmalade, my neighbor has given me 2 kilos of her beetroot so I’m going to make for the first time Roasted beetroot and orange Chutney and sweet chilli beetroot pickle…………

  16. Nina says:

    Nup. Can’t come up with anything that hasn’t been mentioned. Thinking, thinking. I use soy sauce with sliced hot chillis soaking in it a bit, does that count? Something with horseradish, maybe? But is that a sauce?

    You might have to do a post on ‘dressings’ too!

  17. Diana says:

    Ohhh yeah love that sauce. I was smiling your son drink tomato sauce :). I can’t live without a bottle of chilli sauce at home.

  18. kitsapFG says:

    I always get lots of inspiration from your blog posts. I like a good plum or cranberry sauce – such a delightful pairing with pork, duck, and turkey. Another standby sauce here is the many variations of salsa.

    • Liz says:

      In England we always ate cranberry sauce with the Christmas Turkey but I haven’t really had any since I came back to Oz. I’m sure it would be available if I looked hard enough. do you make your own?

  19. Aioli and tomato sauce would be my first choice, then chili, followed by a spicy plum sauce… Great post, Liz!

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